United Nations: Veteran Indian diplomat Vijay Nambiar, who is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special adviser on Myanmar, has called on all sides to “set aside narrow agenda” in pursuit of a peaceful and unified Myanmar.

Nambiar wrapped up a visit to the country during which he visited Rakhine state to see first-hand the progress made to provide aid to local communities, as well as actions being taken to address underlying causes of recent violence.

“On behalf of the Secretary-General, Nambiar called on all involved to take a leap of faith and to set aside all narrow agenda in the common interest of peace and a unified Myanmar,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters here yesterday.

During the visit, Nambiar’s eighth in the past year, he met with President Thein Sein and other senior officials, and also spoke with diplomats and members of political parties, representatives of ethnic armed groups, civil society, aid agencies, women and youth organisations.

He took part as an observer at a meeting on national reconciliation between the government and ethnic armed groups – the first of its kind held in the country.

Several waves of clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, the first of which occurred in June 2012, have affected hundreds of thousands of families in Rakhine.

He spoke about the reform and democratisation process,development and strengthening the cooperation between communities and ethnic groups, and underlined the UN’s commitment to support Myanmar as it proceeds with reforms.

Nambiar has been the Special Adviser on Myanmar since 2010.

The veteran Indian diplomat has also served as Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General from 2007-2012.

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