The government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) are unlikely to complete the final draft of a nation-wide ceasefire agreement in the upcoming peace talks later this month, according to representatives from both sides.

“I think the ‘single text’ will not be completed in the upcoming peace talk,” said NCCT’s leader Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win. “We will negotiate views from both sides to reach an agreement on some issues and continue to negotiate for other issues. We have plans to continue the negotiations. We will continue to negotiate until we reach an agreement.”

During the last round of talks held from April 5 to 8, the government and NCCT co-wrote the first draft of the ceasefire agreement and agreed on the introduction and seven chapters.

“The main thing is that we will continue to negotiate for the draft. Nine representatives comprising of MPs, government officials, and military representatives will attend the meeting from the Union Peace Working Committee,” said Hla Maung Shwe from the Myanmar Peace Center.

Both sides will negotiate the issues to be included in the single draft, which has been written including  various issues presented in the ceasefire drafts from both sides.

“We can’t say it will be finalised in just one round [of peace talks]. It depends on the discussion,” said Hla Maung Shwe.

“As we have to negotiate different views from both sides, both sides need to understand why we use a certain word, its meaning, and our stands in order to respond to the other side. Currently, this is our first time to discuss the ‘single text’ so we need to reach an understanding between each other first. For example, we want to use the word ‘independent and fair federal union’ in describing the establishment of a union,” said Pado Kwe Htoo Win.