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Philippine gov't, former rebel group resume talks in Malaysia


13:03, November 12, 2012

MANILA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The 33rd Exploratory Talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front kicked off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Monday.

The talks, which will conclude on Nov. 18, are expected to center on power-sharing, wealth-sharing, and normalization.

Abdulla Camlian, a member of the MILF peace panel, said the session today will be "very tough" especially on matters of policing, decommissioning, and gradual redeployment of government forces.

"I don't expect a smooth-sailing on the issue of normalization; there will be no breakthrough at least during this meeting," said Camlian in a statement posted on the MILF's website.

He also said that the two parties will discuss the issues of the MILF "political detainees," inter-governmental relationship, transitional arrangement and modalities or political road map, third party monitoring team, independent commission on policing, multi-trust fund, and joint normalization committee.

"(But) the real hard work belongs to the three technical groups which are expected to deliver in the face of the overwhelming support of the people and the international community to the peace process," said Camlian.

The Philippine government and the MILF are also expected to discuss the status of the 15-man Transition Commission which will be constituted after President Benigno Aquino III issued an executive order for its creation.

Discussions between the two parties resumed almost a month after the historic signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Manila.

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