Philippines' biggest separatist group optimistic of new administration

12:22, July 02, 2010      

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Leaders of the Muslim separatist group are hopeful that peace negotiations under the Aquino administration will prosper.

"As far as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is concerned, we remain hopeful that President Benigno Aquino will fulfil his promise of addressing the root cause of Mindanao problem and solving it with a comprehensive peace agreement," MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar said in a statement on Friday.

Aquino said in his inaugural address that his government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao.

"We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflict, inclusive of the interests of all -- may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian," Aquino said.

Aquino's mention of his government's sincerity in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao was an indication that the peace process will move forward, Jaafar said.

The MILF has been fighting the government for decades to establish a self-rule Muslim state in southern Philippines.

Since August 2008 however, peace talks between the two camps remain stalled following the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

A final peace deal with the government will touch the issues of autonomy and the civil settlement of the rebel group's 11,800- strong guerrilla fighters.

Source: Xinhua


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