Myanmar armed forces (Source: AFP)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Seven armed groups of the Northern Alliance have vowed to continue peace meetings with the government, saying that they will discuss the message delivered by Myanmar authorities at the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference in Nay Pyi Taw, official media reported on July 15.

The third session of the six-day Panglong Peace Conference kicked off on July 11 and the groups attended the conference until July 14.

The Northern Alliance includes Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), Mongla's National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), Kokang's Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta,ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Arakan Army (AA). They did not sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) in 2015.

Vice Chairman of the KIO Gun Maw promised that the armed groups will try to come back again to continue the peace process.

On the sidelines of the conference, representatives of the armed groups met separately with Peace Commission Chairman Tin Myo Win, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

A representative of the UWSA said their official meetings with the government leadership represented a significant step forward in the peace process.   

U Zaw Htay, who is director-general of the State Counselor's Office and also secretary of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), said the government will deal with the AA, MNDAA and TNLA in a format different from the discussions with KIO, UWSA, NDAA and SSPP.   

After the NCA was initiated in 2015, the current government of Myanmar held the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference in August 2016 and May 2017. The third focused on points related to political, economic, social, security, and land and natural environment sectors, submitted by the UPDJC, for adoption to be included in a union agreement for peace.-VNA