UK, New Zealand support Philippines' peace talks with rebels

13:31, November 03, 2010      

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The United Kingdom and New Zealand extended their support to the Philippines in its goal to put an end to the insurgencies in the country.

United Kingdom Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Lillie and New Zealand Ambassador Andrew Matheson relayed their commitment during a courtesy call on Tuesday, Teresita Deles, President Benigno Aquino III peace adviser, said on Wednesday.

"At present, the Philippine government is preparing for the resumption of peace talks with two main rebel groups -- the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People's Army (NPA)," Deles said.

Peace talks between the government and the leftists bogged down in 2004 after the United States included the NPA and its parent body as foreign terrorist organizations.

On Tuesday, Muslim rebel leaders said they are ready to resume talks with Manila government and are all set to meet government negotiators in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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

About 400 people died and more than half a million people were affected after peace talks between the government and the MILF have stalled since August 2008 following the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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