The Myanmar government signed a ceasefire pact with two rebel groups in Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday, reported the Myanmar Times. The New Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union signed the National Ceasefire Agreement. Earlier in 2015, eight groups had joined the peace process.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said the agreement is the beginning of a political dialogue. Suu Kyi, who is also the chairperson of the National Reconciliation and Peace Center, invited the remaining armed groups to come to the negotiating table, reported Xinhua.

New Mon State Party President U Naing Htaw Mon said the agreement is a path to solve problems. “Signing the NCA is an important step for regional development as well as for federalism, I hope,” he said, according to Myanmar Times.

‘Will benefit Northeastern states of India’

Representatives of India, China, Japan, Thailand, United Nations and European Union were international witnesses on the occasion. “The presence of our representative demonstrates India’s continued support to the peace process in Myanmar,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, according to PTI.

India said the national reconciliation process in the neighbouring country will benefit the northeastern states of India. Myanmar and India share a 1,640-km-long border and this makes Myanmar one of the strategic neighbours.