UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Myanmar says it expects to soon sign a nationwide cease-fire with ethnic armed groups that have been fighting for decades for greater autonomy.
Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin also told the U.N. General Assembly Monday that the government hopes to start a new round of political dialogue to strike a "comprehensive and lasting peace agreement."
Ethnic rebellions have dogged Myanmar's modern history, but fighting has subsided — although not ended — under the reformist government that replaced a repressive junta in 2011. The minister says there is "no turning back" on path toward democracy. He is promising "zero tolerance" of ethnic hatred — a response to explosions of Buddhist-Muslim unrest in the past year.
He said Myanmar would not allow anyone to exploit political openness to instigate communal violence.