YANGON, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar President U Thein Sein said Wednesday a nationwide ceasefire agreement between the government and ethnic rebel groups was likely to be signed soon.
Addressing the parliament on the occasion of the third anniversary of his government, he expressed belief that the six- decade-long civil war was about to end soon.
The government earlier expected the nationwide ceasefire deal to be inked at the peace talks in Hpa-an, Kayin state in April.
Myanmar government's Union Peace-Making Work Committee (UPWC) and National Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) representing ethnic armed groups on March 10 agreed to jointly draft a single document on nationwide ceasefire ahead of Hpa-an peace talks.
In late January, leaders of 17 ethnic armed groups in Myanmar held a six-day conference in KNU-controlled Law Khee Lar, agreeing in principle to government's proposal for "first ceasefire, then political dialogue" to achieve domestic peace, and the demand for political dialogue is stipulated in the armed groups' draft national ceasefire accord (NCA).
The Law Khee Lar conference was a follow-up of an earlier ethnic leaders' conference in Laiza, northernmost Kachin state in October-November 2013, in which the ethnic leaders signed an 11- point framework agreement which had been presented to the first round of talks with the government in Myitgyina, the capital of Kachin state, for making nationwide ceasefire deal.
The government has reached separate ceasefire agreements with 14 ethnic armed groups since the President's peace offer was extended in August 2011.