Thursday, March 7, 2013

Govt works ‘tirelessly’ for peace, Thein Sein tells Brussels


Thursday, 07 March 2013 14:21 Mizzima News

“Myanmar is working tirelessly for democratic change and for a lasting peace,” President Thein Sein told the Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday evening.

Myanmar President Thein Sein is pictured shaking hands with Elmar Brok, the Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday evening. (PHOTO: Myanmar President's Office)

“We must couple these efforts with broad-based growth, new jobs and rising incomes. We asked that the EU end all sanctions and actively help us in ensuring that no other sanctions remain in place,” he said, addressing European Parliament members.

The Myanmar President went on to laud his government’s efforts in promoting democratic reform, saying it was allowing the formation of labor unions while working to eradicate forced labor.

“I would strongly like to urge the EU leaders to adopt the EU Commission’s proposal to restore Myanmar’s trade preferences,” he said. “The removal of tariffs and quotas and the reinstatement of the Generalized System of Preferences will go a long way towards opening up EU markets for Myanmar exports, and provide impetus for the implementation of the export-oriented economic and industrial development strategies. The preferential access to the EU market would allow Myanmar to benefit not only from employment and production creation but also from greater export earning potential.”

Thein Sein said Myanmar was laying the groundwork for international investment and pointed to the country’s new Foreign Direct Investment law, which he said would implement procedures and processes that are more transparent, accountable, legitimate and predictable.

He then returned to the subject of the civil war in Myanmar, reiterating that Naypyitaw sought “a peace that is just and durable.”

Noting that the country had been mired in conflict since its independence in 1948, the president said, “This must stop. We must find a political and negotiated solution. My government is absolutely committed to this goal. We have over the past 18 months signed ceasefires with no fewer than 10 non-state armed groups. We will now double our efforts to reach an agreement with the last remaining major non-state armed group, the Kachin Independence Organization.”

Thein Sein concluded his speech by saying that his government must find ways of addressing long-standing grievances and discuss and work towards a new and more inclusive Myanmar citizenship, and a new and more inclusive Myanmar.
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