Senior General Min Aung Hlaing receives US Secretary of State H.E. Mr. John Kerry and party.
Nay Pyi Taw May 23
By exercising restraint the Tatmadaw has been participating for ensuring firmness and stability of the multi-party democracy road chosen by the people and adopted in 2010 and for peacefully solving the much complicated and lengthy ethnic armed conflicts. The Tatmadaw’s participation in the political arena depends on the stability of the political path and the firmness of the peace process, noted Commander-in- Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during his meeting with US Secretary of State H.E. Mr. John Kerry here at Zeyathiri Parlour at 2.30 pm yesterday.
At the meeting, the Senior General also said as the bilateral relations started even before Myanmar regained independence, the two countries are old friends, explaining the Tatmadaw’s role for the advancement of the multiparty democracy system that was adopted in 2010 and the measures being taken with discipline for firmly and stably marching on the road.
US Secretary of State praised the Tatmadaw for its role in the peaceful completion of the free and fair elections and transitional process of the country’s historic reforms according to its earlier promise. These determined efforts have pushed Myanmar towards winning the international trust. All its endeavours in the term of government in office have also won the global respect. The US believes Myanmar’s progress depends on those developments. The two sides cordially exchanged views on the preparations for the 21st century Panglong conference for national peace, the relations between the present government and the Tatmadaw, the relations between the two countries and the two armed forces and regional relations in connection with the ASEAN.
As regards the 21st century Panglong conference for national peace, the Senior General said the ethnic armed conflicts are being handled with great care for national peace. As the country is formed with various ethnic races, we have to take every national race into account. We cannot concentrate just on one ethnic race. Dialogues were held many times during the term of the previous government for signing the NCA. The agreement was signed after building trust among the government, the Tatmadaw, the political parties, the Hluttaw and the armed ethnic groups. So, peace process must be based on NCA. The Tatmadaw will give support to the 21st century Panglong conference for its success. Currently preparations are being made with the participation of Lieutenant Generals of the Tatmadaw as members. We will give suggestions and hold talks on the issue while maintaining the agreement reached between the government, the Tatmadaw and ethnic armed groups for the success of the process.
Concerning the relations between the present government and the Tatmadaw, the Senior General said the Tatmadaw is working under the leadership of President U Htin Kyaw. The Tatmadaw is lending a helping hand for achieving success. For example, the Tatmadaw and the respective government bodies have been making coordinated preparations in advance in taking storm preventive measures and conducting rescue missions under the leadership of the government.
With regard to talking about friendly relations between the two countries and military relations between the two armed forces, the US Secretary of State said that he would like to promote relations between the two armed forces. His discussions focused on peace process, national reconciliation, amendments of the constitution and reform processes. The Senior General said that it is necessary to consider the political trend in conformity with the situation of the nation. It needs to realize the political trend in line with the Myanmar’s history, culture, tradition and geopolitics. In Myanmar,
equal rights have been given to all in the human rights, religious affairs and ethnic minority affairs without any discrimination and suppression. A total of 85 per cent of population out of more than 51 million of total population are Buddhists in Myanmar and freedom of belief is given to the people who believe in other religions such as Islam and Christianity. Myanmar has no religious discrimination. It needs to pay respect to Buddhism the majority of people believe in. The situations being criticized in some countries are different from the genuine situation of Myanmar. He aid he thanked the United States of America for lifting some sanctions on Myanmar. He expressed his firm belief that such issue would benefit both sides. The US may decide how to give privileges to Myanmar regarding its reform processes. The Tatmadaw, on its part, has implemented the processes of way to the democracy as its plan which was revealed in 1989 but the plan delayed due to various reasons. The Tatmadaw decided to continue implementation of the way to democracy. The Senior General explained that the Tatmadaw, being a disciplinary organization, will carry out the tasks in accord with its pledge.
With respect to the regional relations issue related to ASEAN, the Senior General revealed that Myanmar does not accept the nuclear. If necessary, Myanmar wishes to be the nuclear free zone throughout the world. As such, Myanmar takes careful of such issue. It depends on policy of the government.
Also present at the meeting were Deputy Commander-in- Chief of Defence Services Commander- in-Chief (Army) Vice- Senior General Soe Win and military officers of the office of the Commander- in-Chief (Army). The US Secretary of State was accompanied by H.E. Mr. Daniel Russel, US Assistant Secretary of State, H.E. Mr. Scot Marciel, US Ambassador to Myanmar, Col. James McAden, Military Attaché to Myanmar and officials.
After the meeting, the Senior General and party posed for documentary photo together with the guests after giving gifts.
The Myawady Daily