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People's Daily Online

Draft nationwide ceasefire agreement preliminarily signed in Myanmar

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 16:33, March 31, 2015

YANGON, March 31 -- Peace negotiators of the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups preliminarily signed a seven- chapter draft nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) here Tuesday as a follow-up of finalization of negotiation on Monday.

The signing between the government's Union Peace-Making Work Committee (UPWC) and ethnic armed groups' Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) was witnessed by President U Thein Sein.

The signing was participated by five members each from the UPWC and the NCCT, respectively, headed by U Aung Min and U Naing Han Tha.

Speaking before the signing ceremony, U Thein Sein described the peace negotiators as being remembered in the history as peace builders, saying that the signing has opened the road to political dialogue.

In the course of heading towards political dialogue, there may remain issues which have to be resolved through coordination.

All these undertakings are priceless success for achieving national reconciliation which can also be considered as a success of the Second Panlong Conference, he added.

The signing was also witnessed by the United Nations Special Envoy Vijay Nambiar's Secretary and Chinese Foreign Ministry Special Envoy for Asian Affairs Wang Yingfan.

Monday's conclusion of the draft NCA signified the ending of the one year and four months' peace negotiation on the draft accord.

The finalization of the seven-chapter draft NCA was made on the 7th day of the 7th round of peace talks between the government and ethnic armed groups after some remaining four points got resolved.

The NCA is set to be formally endorsed in Nay Pyi Taw at an agreed future date by leaders of the government and the ethnic armed groups before the finalized NCA is submitted to an ethnic conference expected by next month as far as the ethnic side is concerned.

After the formal signing by leaders of both sides, the NCA is set to be further forwarded to the parliament for approval and a framework for political dialogue is also to be drawn within one month according to the draft NCA.

The peace process began in November 2013 when UPWC and NCCT met in Myitgyina, Kachin state's capital, for the very first time for the nationwide ceasefire talks, while the present final round commenced in Yangon on March 17.

Ever since U Thein Sein's government took office in March 2011, it has vigorously pushed the process of national reconciliation and has realized ceasefire with over a dozen ethnic armed groups individually. It has now moved to a nationwide ceasefire and will then proceed to political dialogue for steady and eternal peace in the country.

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