World Bulletin / News Desk
Negotiators from Moro Muslims and the Philippine government began a fresh round of peace talks in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, aiming to seal an agreement to end 40 years of conflict in the south of the state.
Government and Muslim negotiators are closing in on a peace deal after nearly 15 years of violence-interrupted talks.
A peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)would set up an expanded autonomous area for Muslims on Mindanao island, giving them more political and economic powers including a bigger share in revenues from natural resources and a more active role in internal security.
"The road is not that long, but it's still very hard to tell if we will reach there," Mohagher Iqbal, the Muslim chief negotiator, told Reuters by text message late on Monday.
"But we are close to it."
The deal to end the conflict which have killed more than 160,000 people, could be signed as early as this week if the four-day talks in Malaysia are successful.
Iqbal said there are still some issues to be resolved in the latest talks, particularly on the shape and size of the new political entity, internal security and wealth-sharing arrangements.
The two sides are working towards a framework agreement, a roadmap that would create the new autonomous region before the end of President Aquino's term in 2016.
The agreement would set up a 15-member transition commission which has until 2015 to draft a law creating the new entity to replace the current autonomous region that has been in place since 1989.
Brigadier General Jamil Zeidan died in hospital after unidentified assailants shot him in Ain El-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon
Moldova, an ex-Soviet republic wedged between Ukraine and Romania, with a population of about 4 million, is planning to sign a landmark trade deal with the European Union
Working conditions in the $22 billion industry have been under scrutiny since the April, 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza in which more than 1,100 workers were killed
About 150 people marched from Sofia University to the parliament building in downtown Sofia and submitted more than 560,000 signatures to parliament calling for the referendum
Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham had conveyed an official warning to the Austrian embassy in Tehran over the "unplanned meeting," IRNA said, without elaborating.
Attiyah said one of Qatar's basic foreign policy principles was its support for popular aspirations to justice and freedom in the Arab world.
Brigadier-General John Shapland, chief defence attache for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, raised the idea of extending Israel's anti-missile umbrella in comments to a security conference in the city
South Africa will hold general elections on May 7, new political players are expected to make gains
The planned bridge is expected to be operational within 48 months at a cost of $728 million.
Maher, Adel and Douma had been among the young activists who spearheaded Egypt's January 2011 revolution, which ended autocratic president Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule
In late January, al-Bashir presented his government partners with a proposed reform plan
Refat Chubarov asks for U.S. cooperation amid 'humanitarian and social catastrophe' in Ukraine
Khodorkovsky told university students in Kiev that giving the region the kind of autonomy from Ukraine that Scotland has inside the British state could ease Crimean demands for union with Russia
Nazarbayev, whose Central Asian state has the second largest post-Soviet economy, is a close ally of Putin and backs his plan for integration of old Soviet republics
Russian forces consolidated their hold on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula on Monday, taking over a military hospital and a missile base as officials geared up for a referendum on the region's future
Swiss officials widened their measures to include Yanukovich's son, also called Viktor, and Oleksii Azarov, son of the former prime minister, Mykola Azarov