“The release of all political prisoners is a long-standing demand of the international community and I warmly welcome these releases as a further demonstration of the Burmese government’s commitment to reform.
“This is exactly the kind of measure I called for in all my meetings with Burmese government leaders last week. So is this week’s much needed ceasefire in the conflict with the Karen people. I hope these positive steps will contribute to greater democratic participation in the upcoming Parliamentary by-elections.”
Speaking on 12 January, the Foreign Secretary welcomed the ceasefire between the Burmese government and Karen National Union:
“I welcome the reports that the Burmese government and Karen National Union have signed a ceasefire after 63 years of fighting. This is good news for the people of Burma. It has been a longstanding goal of the international community to see a ceasefire, and indeed it was one of the key issues on which I urged the Burmese government to make progress during my visit last week when I also met with Karen representatives. There is still a long way to go fully to rebuild trust between the parties after so many years of conflict, but this is an important step in the right direction.”