Norway’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Torgeir Larsen, is planning to meet with leaders of the Karen National Union (KNU) during his visit to Myanmar this week, reported The Irrawaddy on Friday.
General Secretary of the KNU, Naw Zipporah Sein, told The Irrawaddy that Larsen planned to meet the Karen Group leaders during his trip to Myanmar this week and may also visit the new liaison office in Kyaukgvi Township of Pegu Division.
He’s also planning to meet Burmese opposition groups in Chiang Mai on Wednesday to discuss Norway’s future role in Burma, according to diplomatic sources.
The meeting time and place have been confirmed by e-mails to humanitarian aid agencies such as Norwegian Church Aid, the Thailand-Burma Border Consortium, Burma Relief Centre and The Irrawaddy, though there has not been an official announcement by the Norwegian Embassy.
“I hope Larsen will brief us about Norway’s future plans for the peace initiative process,” said Zippotah Sein.
There are 3 KNU liaison offices currently open in Karen State which are financially assisted by the Norwegian Government through its US $ 5 million peace support pilot project led by Charles Petrie, who was UN coordinator for Burma.
It is believed that Larsen would like to observe the work by Norwegian Peace Support Initiative (NPSI) and the cooperation of the KNU and other relief groups around Kyaukgvi.