Peace talks between gov't and MILF may resume after Ramadan

13:56, August 31, 2010      

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Peace talks between the Philippine government and Muslim rebels is likely to resume after the Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a senior rebel leader said.

Mohagher Iqbal, Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel chairman, said Tuesday that negotiation might start end-September to early October due to Malaysia's week-long celebration of Eid'l Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is expected to end between September 10 and 12.

"We can come up with our own panel as soon as the government completes its panel," Iqbal said.

"It is hard to tell what's going to happen in the negotiation because the president does not decide alone," he added.

In his state of the nation address in July, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said he is hoping that the peace talks with the MILF would resume after the month-long Ramadan.

The MILF said earlier the government must resolve the problem in Mindanao within the six-year term of Aquino's administration as more of their young fighters are getting radicals and militants.

In 2008, peace talks between the government and the MILF collapsed due to aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, prompting some MILF commanders to staged attacks on civilian communities.

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

Source: Xinhua


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