Ethnic rebel group leaders are meeting in northeastern Myanmar to discuss how to end the current fighting in the region and finalize a nationwide ceasefire agreement with the government.

The meeting in Panghsang, the stronghold of the militarily powerful ethnic Wa group, was taking place amid fierce clashes between Kokang guerrillas and government troops that have left hundreds killed. At the same time, an alliance of more than a dozen ethnic minority groups has been holding talks with the government to end decades of fighting for autonomy.

The government's continued clashes with the Kokang in northern Myanmar have caused the ethnic alliance to distrust the sincerity of President Thein Sein's regime. The Kokang are not part of the government's talks but are included in Friday's consultations among ethnic groups.