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Philippines seeks for extension of talks with Muslim rebels


16:43, July 12, 2013

MANILA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The Government of the Philippines ( GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) extended on Friday the 38th round of formal peace talks after no annexes of the framework agreement on the Bangsamoro ((FAB) were signed, senior government officials said.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a news briefing, said that after the fruitless negotiation in the past four days, the GPH peace panel headed by Miriam Coronel-Ferrer sought for the extension of the talks with the MILF in Malaysia.

"We received word from Kuala Lumpur that the talks are still ongoing between the government and the MILF. According to Chairman Ferrer, the government had requested for an extension of the talks and it is ongoing now, the other panel agreed," she said.

MILF peace panel head Mohagher Iqbal said Thursday that the negotiations were heading for an impasse since there was no single annex signed. Prior to the talks, both sides were hopeful to ink at least the annex on wealth-sharing.

Ferrer said that the talks were extended "to find good compromises on key issues like taxation and revenue share." She expressed the hope to find solutions, but said that there was a need for flexibility on both sides.

The three other remaining annexes that were yet to be signed include wealth-sharing, power-sharing and normalization. The annex on transitional arrangements and modalities was inked early this year. The FAB and the four annexes will form part of the comprehensive peace agreement that will end the four-decade armed struggle by the Muslim rebels.

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