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.
Unidentified gunmen have shot dead two soldiers in southern Thailan.
China has passed legislation forcing communist units in all workplaces to ensure uniform laws across the nation.
21 people were killed when suspected Baluch fighters kidnapped dozens in attack on Pashtuns traveling to Karachi from Baluchistan capital
The cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea has tripled in less than a week
The US has China has placed mobile artillery weapons systems on a island of the Spratlys archipelago in the disputed South China Sea and has accused China of spreading chaos in the region
Pakistan has been rocked by a fake degree scandal with a new Pakistani TV channel owned by company accused of fraud and money laundering is suspended
Myanmar has released details of its census but has been blasted by rights group for excluding the Rohingya from its census.
A meeting today between 17 Asian nations will discuss the Rohingya crisis that has forced thousands of people to flee their homeland.
"There is something wrong with humanity's thinking" says the Dalai Lama as he urges Aung San Suu Kyi to aid the Rohingya
A radioactive leak from a medical consignment was detected in the cargo area of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi this morning.
The Leader of largest faction in MNLF says met with MILF chair and a representative of Nur Misuari at Organization of Islamic Conference venue in Kuwait
With their their houses set on fire, Muslims have fled their village and have sought refuge in the local police station after they were attacked.
Yang Xiuzhu will be extradited from the US to China. He has been accused of embezzling more than $40 million.
Japan's top government spokesman said that there was no risk to human life after a volcano erupted on the remote southern island of Kuchinoerabujima.