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Myanmar signs cease-fire with ethnic rebels

Myanmar's government has signed a cease-fire agreement with ethnic Karen rebels in a major step toward ending one of the world's longest-running insurgencies and meeting a key condition for better ties with the West.

(REUTERS) Pa-an - The government and the 19-member Karen National Union delegation agreed in principle to 11 points and signed two broad agreements to end hostilities between the military and the Karen National Liberation Army and start dialogue towards a political settlement to a 62-year conflict.

The ceasefire could be a small step towards the lifting of two decades of sanctions imposed on Myanmar by the European Union and the United States, which have made peace with ethnic militias a pre-requisite for a review of the embargoes.

Peace talks have been held on six occasions since 1949, but no lasting agreement has been reached.

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