Myanmar’s State Counsellor Opens Landmark Peace Talks

Naypyitaw, – Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi opened a landmark peace conference with ethnic rebel groups on Wednesday, in a bid to end one of the world’s longest-running civil wars. “Today we start a journey that should have begun decades ago,” she told nearly 1,700 delegates from the government, the military, armed rebel groups, political parties and civil society organizations in the capital Naypyitaw.

Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader and Nobel Peace laureate, said that people around the world as well as in Myanmar would be watching for the results of the talks.

She stressed that the country could not move forward without peace and reconciliation between the country’s myriad rebel groups, who have been fighting the military and the government for more autonomy.

Suu Kyi’s government has been negotiating with rebel leaders and lobbying for the talks since taking power in March following the country’s first democratic elections in decades late last year.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and international diplomats are also attending the conference, along with representatives from 18 out of the country’s 21 rebel groups.

Source: Qatar News Agency