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U.K. shares Myanmar interest in peace

April 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM

LONDON, April 17 (UPI) -- There's a shared interest in finding a way to address ongoing religious violence in Myanmar, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

Hague met in London with U Aung Min, a peace negotiator in the Myanmar government, to discuss security concerns in the country.

Hague said he was encouraged the government in Myanmar, known also as Burma, has reached cease-fire deals with 10 of the 11 armed groups in the country but stressed more work was needed.

"We agreed on the need to take forward negotiations to achieve a permanent cease-fire in Kachin state, and to address the hostility behind the recent outbreak of anti-Muslim violence in Meiktila," Hague said in a statement. "The British government will continue to support work bringing different faith communities in Burma together."

Myanmar President Thein Sein imposed martial law over parts of Myanmar last month following clashes between minority Muslims and Buddhists. Similar conflicts erupted last year in other parts of the country, including Kachin and Rakhine.

Thai newspaper The Irrawaddy reports Aung Min travels next to the United States where he'll accept an award from the International Crisis Group on behalf of Thein Sein.

Conflict in Myanmar has overshadowed political gains made since general elections in 2010.

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