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Myanmar gov't vows to strive for draft ceasefire accord

(Xinhua)    17:30, March 17, 2015

YANGON, March 17 -- Peace negotiator of the Myanmar government said on Tuesday that resumed peace talks with ethnic armed groups would strive for a draft nationwide ceasefire agreement, calling for overcoming the outstanding issues.

U Aung Min, vice chairman of the government's Union Peace- Making Work Committee (UPWC), said in his opening remarks at the 7th round of peace talks between the UPWC and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) of 16 ethnic armed groups at the Myanmar Peace Center.

U Aung Min, who is also minister at the President's Office, told the meeting that the government was making efforts to reach the ceasefire accord aimed at building a foundation of carrying the peace process to the next term of government, creating a firm ceasefire and starting political dialogue.

He cited President U Thein Sein as saying that "ethnic conflict cannot be resolved by use of force but through political dialogue. "

He underlined the establishment of a joint monitoring committee on ceasefire and a committee for sponsoring political dialogue is an important step of the peace process.

Chairman of the NCCT U Naing Han Tha, who is from the Mon ethnic group, said the recent Kachin Independence Organization's ( KIO) meeting with the government and military leaders amid heavy conflicts in northern Myanmar is a good prospect and the confidence building between them contributed to the nationwide ceasefire talks between UPWC and NCCT.

He suggested that for a lasting peace, fightings in Kachin state, Ta'ang or Palaung area and Kokang region should be covered by the discussions in the peace talks to help ease tension in those areas.

He also emphasized the need not to use force to resolve domestic conflicts as it could put the country into chaos and poverty.

Lieutenant-General Myint Soe from the No. 1 Special Operation of the military expressed belief that if understanding on conflict reduction and ceasefire was built during the meeting between the armed forces and the KIO, peace would be achieved.

Negotiators from the government and ethnic armed groups resumed their peace talks in Yangon Tuesday in an effort to finalize their draft ceasefire accord.

Before the resumption of the talks, Myanmar President U Thein Sein, Vice President Sai Mauk Kham and Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Service Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing met separately on Monday with a special delegation of the KIO in Nay Pyi Taw, led by General Secretary La Ja and its army's Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Guan Maw to discuss peace efforts in the country.

During that meeting, the KIO forwarded a peace proposal to the president, reaffirming its commitment to the ongoing peace process until success.

The 6th round of ceasefire talks, held in September last year, approved the fourth draft of the ceasefire agreement.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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