Latest govt-MILF exploratory talks end with ‘substantial’ progress

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The 41st exploratory talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ended Sunday with “substantial” progress on the remaining Annexes on power sharing and normalization.

In a joint statement emailed to the Philippines News Agency, both panels said “they have proceeded in exhaustive, honest discussions in order to identify the best formulations for an agreement that would respond to the aspirations of both parties.”

The statement said that the remaining challenges and the time constraints demand that both panels remain focused on completing the annexes following a break for Eid’Ul’Adha.

“Both sides have a full understanding of their responsibility as they strive towards a sustainable and inclusive solution for the benefit of all people in the Bangsamoro,” it noted.


The negotiating panels thanked President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd “for his unwavering commitment to a just and lasting peace in Mindanao,” and to Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak ” for his continued support in the facilitation of the GPH-MILF peace talks.”

The two sides were optimistic of reaching a consensus on power-sharing and normalization — the last two annexes to be added to the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB).

The government’s chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer earlier said she is certain of an accord with MILF that would empower Mindanao’s Moro communities and benefit all sectors, regardless of tribes, religions and cultural identities.

A completed FAB shall be the basis for an enabling law to legitimize the replacement of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with an MILF-led Bangsamoro self-governing political entity.

Coronel-Ferrer said they spent considerable time crafting the four annexes to the FAB – transitional arrangements; wealth partitions; power sharing; and normalization – to ensure that the framework will be supported by all sectors.

Muhaquer Iqbal, chairman of the MILF panel, said they are also hoping that the final peace pact will benefit the communities in all of the areas they want to group together under a Bangsamoro political entity.

Negotiations between the government and MILF started in January 7, 1997, but gained headway only in recent years with the participation of Malaysia as a facilitator, and with the help of foreign peace advocacy outfits and international donor organizations.

PNA

 

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1 Comment

  1. In the previous statement they said they will work over time just to finish it but ended with the pronouncement of substantial achievement today. Tell it to the Marine.