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Myanmar, Militias Ink Peace Pact With India As Witness

The signing of the ceasefire agreement was witnessed by Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi (Centre) who said that armed conflicts have hampered Myanmar’s development
NEW DELHI: As a sign of its support to the ongoing peace process in Myanmar, India was among the countries which attended as international witnesses the signing of a National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) between Myanmar and two ethnic armed groups in Naypyitaw on Tuesday.
The government said in a statement that India supported the Myanmar peace process and that comprehensive peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar will also be conducive for the peace and prosperity of India’s northeastern states.
“Given the positive bilateral relationship between India and Myanmar and the significance for India of the Myanmar peace process, Myanmar had earlier invited India (together with China, Japan, Thailand, the UN and the EU) to sign the NCA as international witnesses in October 2015,’’ said MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar.
“NSA Ajit Doval had represented India on that occasion. Today’s event is another step in the process with two more parties, the NMSP (New Mon State Party) and the LDU (Lahu Democratic Union), agreeing to sign the NCA. The presence of our representative demonstrates India’s continued support to the peace process in Myanmar,” he added. India’s deputy NSA Rajinder Khanna attended the ceremony.
News agency Reuters reported that NMSP and LDU signed the NCA after meeting Suu Kyi and the military’s commander-in-chief, senior general Min Aung Hlaing, in Naypyitaw last month. “At least 10 rebel groups have not joined the NCA, an accord negotiated by the previous quasi-civilian administration. Suu Kyi has opened a new round of talks with some of the groups since last May,” said the report.
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