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UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday welcomed a joint statement issued by peace negotiators of the Myanmar government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), urging the parties to "continue their efforts towards genuine and sustainable peace in Kachin."
"The secretary-general welcomes the Joint Statement issued by Myanmar's Peacemaking Committee and the delegation of the Kachin Independence Organization in Ruili, China, wherein they agreed to work on an overall framework for de-escalation of the violent conflict in Kachin and for monitoring such de-escalation," said a statement issued by Ban's spokesman.
The representatives of the Myanmar government and KIO resumed peace talks in China's border town of Ruili on Monday, 17 days after the government announced unilateral ceasefire with KIA, the army of KIO, on January 18 to prepare for a political dialogue, saying that the government troops will stop military offensive against the area of Lajayan starting Jan 19.
Ever since June 2011, the government forces and the KIA had been continuously fighting until the present resumption of talks.
"The secretary-general urges the parties to continue their efforts towards genuine and sustainable peace in Kachin and hopes that the latest developments would result in a silencing of the guns in Myanmar for the first time since its independence," Ban's statement said.
"The United Nations remains committed to continuing to extend all necessary help and support to the peoples of Myanmar, including through its good offices and the country team," it added.
Ban's special adviser Vijay Nambiar, also the UN special envoy to Myanmar, was visiting Kachin, where he accompanied senior government officials visiting camps for internally displaced persons and met with civil society groups and other stakeholders, the statement said.
Myanmar officials confirmed that Vice-President Sai Mauk Kham met with Nambiar on Jan 15 in Nay Pyi Taw, who is currently on his fifth visit to the country after a new government was set up on March 30, 2011.
Nambiar, appointed as UN special envoy to Myanmar in 2010, last visited Myanmar in September 2012.