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Philippine gov't, MILF to resume formal peace talks in Malaysia: official

(Xinhua)

08:24, December 05, 2011

MANILA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will resume in Malaysia the formal peace negotiation which has been stalled for about four months, a senior government official said Sunday.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said, "While taking care to avoid preempting the talks by commenting on expectations, I cannot but take a positive view of the fact that formal exploratory talks are pushing ahead following very serious challenges to the peace process in recent months."

The formal negotiation is expected to take place on Monday until Wednesday, sources said.

"In this season of hope and good will, I will dare to be hopeful that this meeting will bring us even one small step closer towards the peace that our country needs and we all desire," said Deles.

Deles said the formal talks will be attended by full panel members of both the government and the MILF led by Marvic Leonen and Mohagher Iqbal, respectively.

The peace process was stalled since August following the MILF panel's rejection of the government's proposed peace accord.

The government has offered enhanced autonomy to the largest Muslim rebels in the country, while the MILF has been seeking for the creation of a substate in southern Philippines.

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