(Mizzima) – The New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the government peacemaking delegation have met in Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State, to continue talks after signing a preliminary peace agreement earlier.
Minister of Rail Transportation Aung Min led the government side, and Joint General-Secretary 1 Nai Aung Min led the NMSP delegation.
The two sides discussed a nationwide cease-fire and peace, regional development, social, education, health, economic affairs, and the release of Mon ethnic prisoners.
In early February, the two sides signed a five-point agreement at the state level involving opening liaison offices, travel regulations and the settlement of NMSP members at mutually agreed locations.
The NMSP was among five ethnic armed groups that refused to be transformed into the government's border guard force.
So far, a total of 12 armed groups have signed preliminary peace agreements with the government at the state or central level. The Kachin Independence Organization and the government remain unable to make a breakthrough in peace talks, and clashes between the two sides continue.
Under the president's peace offer, peace making efforts are being carried out in three phases -- the first phase is a cease-fire, to set up liaison offices and travel without holding arms through each other's territory; the second phase is confidence building, holding political dialogues, implementing regional development tasks in terms of education, health and communication; and the third phase is to sign an agreement in the presence of Parliament members.