Gov’t awaits MILF response on exploratory talks

December 9, 2010 4:12 am 

MANILA, Dec. 6 — The government is awaiting the response from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to hold exploratory talks this month.

Briefing the participants of the 2010 Waging Peace Conference held at the Bayview Hotel here, panel member Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said that chief negotiator Dean Marvic Leonen has sent an invitation to MILF chair Mohagher Iqbal through Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs Richard Riot in Kuala Lumpur (KL) on December 2.

Leonen went to Kuala Lumpur to deliver the invitation, as well as the response letter from President Benigno Aquino III to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who wrote in November to express Malaysia’s continuing interest to facilitate the talks.

Ferrer said the government hopes Malaysia will agree to host the meeting.

On the issues of facilitation, she said that resolving this soon will “pave the way for the series of exploratory and formal talks that will effectively address all other procedural, security and substantial issues.”

She added that the government panel considers the crafting of a Terms of Reference for the Facilitator as crucial to the talks.

“This is to avoid future problems, allow more flexibility in the process, and enable both parties to exercise more initiative and control,” Ferrer said.

Ferrer reported that Brunei and Japan’s positive response to extend their tour of duty of their contingents in the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Mindanao indicate that the peace process is moving forward.

She also said that the government foresees no problem with Libya and Malaysia.

“The continuing stay of the IMT up to end of February or early March has virtually been effected. Its stay beyond this can be further discussed in the forthcoming exploratory talks,” she stated.

Ferrer also said that the Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) of the government and MILF is also set to stay committed “to respond as ever.”

The IMT monitors the implementation of the security, socio-economic development, humanitarian and civilian protection components of the GRP-MILF peace process, while the CCCH is mandated to protect the ceasefire agreement between the two parties.

Ferrer lauded the recent informal dialogue between the government peace panel and National Democratic Front in Hong Kong on December 1-2.

“It illustrates how flexibility and initiative, along with sincere interest to resume the talks, can support the negotiation,” she said.(PNA) vcs/RBC/utb

Comments

Comments are closed.