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Statement by NSCN-IM general Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah at the end of January 2003 peace talks, New Delhi

At the end of the peace talks between India’s Union government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland––Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), between January 21 and 23, 2003, in New Delhi, NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah issued a statement in New Delhi.

The talks were held for the first time on Indian soil. Presented below is the text of the statement.

"Following three days of formal negotiations, the representatives of the Government of India and the NSCN signed a Joint Communique in which it was announced that formal talks will continue, until a lasting agreement is reached.

We are pleased with the progress that has been made in these talks. Many substantive issues were discussed, and the understanding of these issues is increasing.

We raised our serious concern at press reports alleging that assurances were given to the Chief Minister of Manipur in New Delhi on 21 January with regard to the Naga stand on the unification of Naga areas. In response to our concerns, the Government of India Representative formally clarified as stated in the Joint Comminique that "There has been no change (in the GOI's) stand on the scope of negotiations." The scope of these ongoing negotiations, which have always been unconditional, comprise all matters contained in the NSCN proposal of Spetember 2001, including the unification of all Naga areas. The matter has been clarified to our satisfaction, as we understand that no assurances were given to anyone in respect to the substance of the negotiations.

Both parties agree on the importance of continuing the negotiation process until a lasting agreement is reached. We are aware that many obstacles will continue to be placed in our way by those who are opposed to the peace process. We will need patience and determination to overcome them, keeping always the interests and aspirations of our people as our beacon."









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