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Thailand Welcomes Ceasefire Agreement Between Burmese Military And KNU - 2004-01-25


Thailand is welcoming a ceasefire accord between Burma's military government and its main rebel group -- the Karen National Union.

Thai press reports, quote Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, as saying he hoped the agreement would lead to talks on other sensitive issues.

The reports say Mr. Surakiart met with head of the ethnic Karen delegation Bo Mya for the first time Friday in Bangkok.

Bo Mya said he would try to maintain the positive momentum and hoped for further talks. He also thanked Thailand for supporting ethnic groups in the reconciliation process.

Burma's military rulers announced the truce Friday following six days of talks in Rangoon.

Rangoon announced last month plans to hold a national convention and draft a new constitution this year.

The United States has been pressing Rangoon to allow all ethnic groups in Burma to be represented.

The Karen National Union has been fighting for more than 50 years to establish an independent state in eastern Burma for ethnic Karens.

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