Moro Muslims, Philippine 'to hold talks' in Malaysia

The exploratory talks were confirmed by sources on both sides of the negotiations.

Moro Muslims, Philippine 'to hold talks' in Malaysia

Moro Muslims and the Philippine government will hold informal talks on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur aimed at restarting peace negotiations, sources said.

The exploratory talks were confirmed by sources on both sides of the negotiations.

They will be the first since President Benigno Aquino formed a new panel last July to negotiate with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"We're hoping to resume formal negotiations early next month after agreeing on new ground rules, including a new facilitator from the Malaysian government," a person involved in the talks told Reuters news agency. Malaysia has hosted negotiations since 2001.

"The meeting is a major breakthrough in the peace process. We'll issue a press statement after the meeting, informing our people what had been achieved in the exploratory talks," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of an agreement between the two sides not to announce the meeting.

Peace talks have stalled after Manila attempted to change a Malaysian facilitator.

After four decades of armed conflict between the Filipino state and the Moro Muslims, the two parties agreed to sign an agreement that would end the conflict. However, the supreme court of the Philippine declared the agreement "illegal", which caused the conflict to resume.

The biggest new internal displacement of people at that time was in Muslim region in Philippine, where 600,000 fled fighting with government and MILF in Muslim region, a United Nations-backed report said.


Agencies

Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2011, 10:49
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