Yangon: The United Nations on Tuesday praised a draft ceasefire deal aimed at ending Myanmar's decades of civil war, hailing the text agreed between the government and an array of ethnic armed groups as 'historic and significant'.

The UN, which has acted as an observer to months of peace negotiations, said the tentative deal was a 'milestone' for
Myanmar, after the country's president signed the draft national ceasefire with armed rebel groups today. "For the government of Myanmar and 16 Ethnic Armed Groups to reach a ceasefire agreement after more than sixty years of conflict is a historic and significant achievement," it said in a statement on behalf of UN Special Adviser Vijay Nambiar.

A full agreement can only be signed after a conference of the ethnic armed groups for which no date has yet been set.
Myanmar's quasi-civilian regime has set nationwide peace as a key goal of its reforms ahead of crucial elections expected in November.