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.
The 7.9 earthquake earlier on Saturday has triggered an avalanche on Mt Everest
An earthquake measuring 7.7 has hit the east of Nepal, and was felt in India. Those with broken limbs have been taken to hospital and at least 50 people trapped in Kathmadu's 19th century tower.
Two Australian drug convicts were notified on Saturday that they will be executed by firing squad in 72 hours at the Indonesian prison island of Nusakambangan, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.
French photographer Roland Neveu tells of ‘accident of history’ of rise of ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge in 1975.
A Japanese man has been arrested for landing a drone on the prime ministers office in protest of Japan's use of nuclear power
Four fighters who say they work for Iran call on Assad regime and Hezbollah for an exchange of prisoners with Syrian opposition forces.
Human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead after leaving a restaurant where she had given a talk about Baluchistan.
The Law and Order Trust Fund of Afghanistan (LOTFA) received over has received around $3.6 billion from international donors since 2002 to pay Afghan police force salaries and other expenses
Adam Gadahn, an American convert to Islam was killed by US attacks near the Afghan border in January of this year.
Taliban fighters have launched rocket attacks on a US base in Kabul and have targeted government buildings in Afghanistan.
Indonesian attorney general’s spokesman confirms reports that his office has sent letters to prosecutors advising them to make preparations ahead of the imminent executions of the Bali 9
The attacks come after deputy PM said ‘violence had decreased substantially’ in the Muslim south.
This is the first time a Chinese warship has warned a Philippine plane on patrol in disputed area in South China Sea, another military official said.
This is third Pakistani visit to Saudi Arabia since Islamabad decided to remain neutral in Saudi-led military offensive in Yemen.
After the meeting with Xi on the sidelines of an Asia-Africa summit in Indonesia, Abe also said the two leaders agreed to contribute to regional stability and prosperity by promoting "mutually beneficial strategic ties"
A ceremony was held in Seoul involving U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert, who continues to recover the full use of his left hand after being attacked with a knife at a local event last month.