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Myanmar president meets with rebels

April 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

NAPYITAW, Myanmar, April 7 (UPI) -- Myanmar President Thein Sein met with Karen rebels fighting the government in Myanmar, officials said.

The meeting was the first between the rebels and a president of Myanmar since Karen rebels began fighting for self-rule more than 60 years ago, the BBC reported.

Thousands of people have been displaced because of fighting between Karen and government forces.

A spokeswoman for the Karen National Union said the meeting was "warm and pleasant."

The BBC reported that the meeting was part of a major push by the Myanmar government to make deals with separatist groups throughout the country. They have already signed a number of provisional ceasefires with other groups.

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