National ceasefire negotiators move closer to deal despite unresolved points

Peace negotiators from the NCCT and UPWC engage in discussions on the fifth day of the seventh round of nationwide ceasefire accord talks on Saturday. The fifth-day meeting concluded Chapter 5 of the accord.
Peace negotiators from the NCCT and UPWC engage in discussions on the fifth day of the seventh round of nationwide ceasefire accord talks on Saturday. The fifth-day meeting concluded Chapter 5 of the accord.

Government negotiators and ethnic armed groups wrapped up a fifth day of national ceasefire talks Saturday, making solid progress despite leaving two points of the prospective peace agreement unresolved, both sides said.
On Day 5, the government’s Union Peacemaking Work Committee and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team of ethnic armed groups concluded the fifth chapter, entitled “Political guarantees and political dialogue,” of the seven-chapter ceasefire pact.
Of the two unresolved points, one relates to all-inclusive political dialogue and the other to the roadmap for the political dialogue, said U Hla Maung Shwe, senior adviser at the Myanmar Peace Centre.
It may be possible to reach agreements on the two points on Day 6, which is scheduled to include discussions on chapters 5 and 6, said NCCT member Daw Saw Mya Yazar Lin, who accompanied U Hla Maung Shwe and NCCT leader U Naing Hong Has at the press conference following the day’s talks.
She said patience and understanding from participants were the keys to completing the chapter.
The sixth day of the meeting is expected to see approval from both sides on including members of political parties and ethnic armed groups at the national level, as well as setting criteria for who should be included in the political talks.
The main barrier to the previous NCA meetings was “choice of words” while negotiating the pact, said the MPC senior adviser, who stressed there were no such disagreements this time around.
He continued that the meeting might be extended by a day if it is impossible to conclude the discussions on remaining chapters within the current schedule.
Peace negotiators at the press conference expressed hope for finalization of the negotiation on the nationwide ceasefire accord at this round.

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