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Myanmar government, rebel group reach agreement

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Myanmar government, rebel group reach agreement
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Yangon: The Myanmar government and the rebel Kachin Independent Organization (KIO) reached a seven-point agreement Thursday after three days of peace talks that resumed in Myitgyina, capital of the country's northernmost Kachin state.

The agreement included working together towards a nationwide ceasefire agreement, laying the foundation for political dialogue and holding an ethnic armed groups conference, Xinhua reported.

This apart, both sides also agreed to work to end all armed clashes, to establish a joint monitoring committee, to arrange voluntary return and resettlement of internally displaced persons, to reopen public roads within Kachin state and to coordinate the next round of talks.

"We are working not only towards a just and sustainable peace but also towards a new political culture, one built on compromise, mutual respect and understanding," said U Aung Min, vice chairman of the government's Central Peacemaking Work Committee and minister in the president's office.

"The challenges are complex and are rooted in more than half a century of violence, but I am confident that we are turning the corner," he added.

KIO negotiators were led by U Sumlut Guam.

The three-day peace talks, which was the ninth round since clashes between the two sides broke out in June 2011, followed talks in Myitgyina in May this year.

Besides the presence of representatives of 10 ethnic armed groups at the peace talks, a delegation of five Chinese foreign ministry officials and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General Vijay Nambiar were also present as observers.

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