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Myanmar rebels say talks small step towards peace

Published on Feb 5, 2013 12:18 PM

YANGON (AFP) - Kachin rebels fighting the government in Myanmar's far north said on Tuesday that new peace talks held in China were a limited step towards finding a solution to the bitter conflict.

The two sides discussed ways to establish communication channels, reduce military tension and work towards a surveillance system with the goal of achieving a ceasefire, according to a joint statement released on Monday.

They agreed to hold another round of talks by the end of this month in the presence of observers and to continue political dialogue, after the one-day meeting in the Chinese border town of Ruili.

But the rebels were cautious about prospects for a durable peace in Kachin, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced since a 17-year ceasefire between the government and the rebels broke down in June 2011.

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