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Myanmar ethnic leaders speed up work on ceasefire pact

Posted on Aug 01 2014 | IANS

Yangon, Aug 1 : A third summit of Myanmar's ethnic armed groups, held in two phases over the past six days in Laiza in northernmost Kachin state, has decided to speed up coordination with the government to finalise the second draft nationwide ceasefire agreement.

According to a statement of the summit available here Friday, the first phase of the summit, held in the first four days, involved leaders of the National Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) only, while the second phase in the remaining days comprised leaders of all 18 armed groups, Xinhua reported.

Held at the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the summit also laid down future programmes to be implemented once the nationwide ceasefire accord is signed, which includes drafting of framework of political dialogue, and coordination for holding of political dialogue in phases until the signing of a union accord, the statement said.

The summit pledged to uphold a three-point national political objective representing all ethnic nationalities. This means building of a federal union guaranteeing what they said the rights of democracy, national equality and self-promulgation.

Observed by Vijay Nambiar, the UN secretary-general's special envoy to Myanmar and Tang Ying, assistant representative of the Chinese foreign ministry's special envoy for Asian affairs Wang Yingfan, the weeklong summit was held after peace negotiators of the Myanmar government and the ethnic armed groups initiated their second draft nationwide ceasefire agreement in Yangon in May.

The first ethnic summit was held in Laiza too in October-November 2013, while the second was held in KNU-controlled Law Khee Lar or Laywa in Kayin state in January 2014.

According to local media, the ethnic armed groups' NCCT will meet U Aung Min, chairman of the Myanmar Peace Centre in Myitgyina, capital of Kachin state, this weekend for informal talks.

Formal talks with the government's Peace Making Work Committee (PMWC) in Yangon will continue Aug 12 to discuss on the second draft nationwide ceasefire agreement.

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