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UN chief hails agreement between Myanmar gov't, KIO


13:12, May 31, 2013

UNITED NATIONS, May 30 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday welcomed the agreement reached between the government of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Organization(KIO) on the same day.

Ban commended the leaders of both delegations "for their courage and perseverance," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson. "He also hopes this agreement will allow the two parties to address the concerns and needs of the people of Kachin State."

Myanmar government and the KIO signed a peace agreement on the final day of their three-day talks in Myitgyina, capital of northernmost Kachin state Thursday.

It was the first time that the government-KIO peace talks were held domestically since a conflict broke out in June 2011. Ban's Special Adviser, Vijay Nambiar, attended the meeting as observer on behalf of the UN, along with representatives from the Chinese Embassy and Myanmar's ethnic minority groups, according to the statement.

"The secretary-general notes the seven-point agreement as a significant achievement that could lay the basis for a genuine process of national reconciliation in the country," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Ban underlined the continued support of the UN and his Special Adviser to the parties as they work toward "a comprehensive political dialogue" that could bring lasting peace to the Southeastern Asian country, the statement added.

The seven-point peace agreement covers continued holding of political talks, de-escalation or cessation of hostilities, formation of a joint monitoring committee, resettlement of internally displaced people, continued discussion on repositioning of troops and stationing of KIO technical team in Myitgyina in the course of the peace process.

The government announced unilateral ceasefire with KIA, the army of KIO, on Jan.18 this year in preparation for the talks.

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