KNU chairman stresses need to find common ground to achieve success in political talks

Maung Htoo

The government, the military and ethnic armed groups should seek some common ground as their different goals lead to low success of peace talks, said Karen National Union Chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe.

The KNU's general made the remark in his opening speech during a meeting of the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) forms with the ethnic armed groups which have signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the previous government held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on May 27, according to a press release issued by the NCA-SEAO office.  

"The reason why we did not achieve success in our peace talks as we expected is that the government, the military and EAOs (ethnic armed organisations) have different aims though they generally claim similar goals. So they need to find a common ground," said General Saw Mutu Say Poe, also leader of PPST.

He added that a common aim could lead to positive results, stressing the need to develop a new political culture involving mutual respect, coordination, negotiation and not using force.

Representatives of the government, the military and ethnic armed organisations held an informal meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on May 18 and 19 to discuss the holding of the third round of the 21st Century Panglong Conference. But agreement could not be reached regarding the matter. Another meeting is likely to take place at the end of this month.