Manila Offers New Peace Deal to MILF

The Philippine government has offered a new deal to the country's largest Muslim separatist group to help restart the stalled peace talks to end nearly 40 years of violence in the south.

Manila Offers New Peace Deal to MILF

"We're hoping the rebels would accept the offer so we can return to the negotiating table," Jesus Dureza, who is President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's adviser on the peace talks, was quoted as saying by Reuters on Saturday, November 11.

He said that the new deal was offered to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) through the Malaysian government, which has brokered talks since March 2001.

"It will help the negotiations move forward," he added, without giving any detail of the fresh initiative.

Negotiations between the Philippine government and the MILF stalled in May over the size and wealth of a proposed homeland for around three million Muslims in the south.

The MILF has been fighting to reclaim Mindanao, tipped to be the richest in natural resources among the three islands of the country, for some three decades now.

The Muslim separatists have blamed Philippine president for the breakdown of the peace talks.

"Serious"

The MILF said it will consider the new government offer.

"We'll study the new proposal carefully," Mohaqher Iqbal, MILF's chief negotiator, told reporters.

"We are looking at it seriously. It needs serious examination. It's a different proposal from the last time," he added, declining to give details about the content of the proposal.

"We can't make any comment until after we have studied the proposal."

"I can say it would help move the peace talks," he added.

More than 120,000 people have been killed in separatist fighting since the conflict erupted in the late 1960s.

But some analysts fear that a number of military commanders as well as local politicians and businesses want to prolong the conflict to maintain their power.

 

Source: IslamOnline.net

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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