Myanmar president upbeat on ending ethnic conflicts
Yangon - Myanmar President Thein Sein said he was optimistic about ending the country's decades-old insurgencies, in a speech carried by the state-run media Friday.
"We have seen lights at the end of the tunnel in our peace process alongside firm potential for national reconciliation," Thein Sein said in a speech carried by The New Light of Myanmar.
The statement coincided with Thein Sein’s first trip to Europe, where he is visiting Norway, Finland, Austria, Belgium and Italy.
Since coming to power in March 2011, his government has signed ceasefires with a dozen rebel groups, excluding only the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in the northern state of Kachin, where a military offensive has displaced up to 70,000 civilians in two years.
Ending the conflicts has been one of the conditions set by Western democracies for normalizing relations with the former pariah state, which was under military rule from 1962 to 2010.
The KIO was the only group that refused to join an official dinner with government officials on February 13, marking the birthday of national independence hero Aung San, the father of democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi.//DPA