Myanmar peace talks to resume

 Peace talks between the Myanmar government and ethnic leaders will resume this week despite escalating clashes in the country`s Shan state, officials said Friday.

Yangon: Peace talks between the Myanmar government and ethnic leaders will resume this week despite escalating clashes in the country`s Shan state, officials said Friday.

The Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC) and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), negotiating on behalf of 16 armed ethnic groups, will meet at the Myanmar Peace Centre here Dec 22-23, the Myanmar Times reported.

They will seek to build on months of work by technical teams from both sides that have resulted in informal agreements on many contentious points in a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).

The signing of the ceasefire would pave the way for a political dialogue and, ultimately ending the Myanmar`s ethnic conflicts.

Since the end of 2013, the government and ethnic leaders have held six rounds of talks toward a nationwide ceasefire accord, but a final agreement is yet to be reached.

The most recent formal talks, held in Yangon in September, had proved inconclusive.

The unsolved issues include the establishment of a union peace talks committee, the introduction of a federal system, the reorganisation of the military in line with federal principles, a framework for political dialogue and the introduction of a military code of conduct.

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