Suu Kyi beckoned to Myanmar peace talks

July 15, 2013 at 12:49 PM
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NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, July 15 (UPI) -- A coalition of armed ethnic groups in Myanmar said Monday they want pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take part in peace talks with the government.

Myanmar President Thein Sein met Monday in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Western governments have eased economic pressure on Myanmar in response to democratic reforms, which began with general elections in 2010.

Cameron was quoted by the BBC as saying he was "concerned" by fighting between Buddhists and minority Muslims in the coastal state of Rakhine. Religious conflicts and fighting between government forces and separatist rebels have undermined political reforms in Myanmar.

Delegates from rebel alliance United Nationalities Federal Council said Monday they wanted opposition leader and Nobel Prize recipient Suu Kyi to take part in peace talks with the government, Thai newspaper The Irrawaddy reports.

"In the past, she said that she was willing to help the peacemaking process with the capacity she has as much as she can," UNFC delegate Mahn Mahn told the newspaper. "It is necessary to have her at our talks at least as an observer if not a mediator."

Cameron said he was eager to establish a closer working relationship with Myanmar's military. The Monday visit with the first for Myanmar's president.

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