Philippine government ready to resume peace talks with MILF – OPAPP

September 17, 2009 11:30 am 

MANILA, Sept. 17 – The Philippine Government is ready to resume peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, according to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

This developed after the recent signing of the Framework Agreement for the Formation of the International Contact Group for the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)-MILF Peace Process.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino I. Razon Jr. on Thursday expressed the hope that the peace panels will be able to agree on the remaining preliminary matters so that they can begin formal negotiations soonest.

“From where we stand, we believe the prospects are very good for the resumption of the formal negotiations within the year,” Razon said at the Policy Dialogue Series attended by officials of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) at Astoria Hotel in Pasig City.

Earlier, the government and the MILF signed an agreement in Kuala Lumpur to create an International Contact Group (ICG) to help build confidence and trust to both parties to pave the way for the resumption of negotiations.

The peace talks were stalled a year ago following the botched signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) which the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional.

Razon hailed the agreement signed by both the GRP and MILF in Kuala Lumpur last Tuesday as a major breakthrough to move the peace process forward.

Signing for the government was Ambassador Rafael E. Seguis, chair of the GRP peace panel, while Mohagher Iqbal signed for the MILF.

Razon also said that both the government and the MILF have committed to find lasting peace in southern Philippines with the creation of the ICG.

The ICG will be composed of interested countries accompanying the peace process preferably from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the European Union (EU) as well as accredited international non-government organizations invited by the GRP and MILF in consultation with Malaysia as third party facilitator. (PNA) LAP/JCA

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