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 landslide struck the village of Sucun in Suichang county of Zhejiang province at around 5pm (0900 GMT), the official Xinhua news agency said.
Military says 3 Abu Sayyaf members, 1 soldier also injured in back-to-back encounters in troubled southern island province
India has sought to isolate Pakistan in the wake of the raid on its base in the disputed region of Kashmir, which killed 18 soldiers and triggered public fury.
India has blamed Pakistan for a military unit attack with Pakistan denying charges and warning that it will use nuclear arsenal if necessary
Rescue teams search for 2 miners who remain missing after gas explosion authorities blame on ‘illegal mining’
Blast at mine in northwest Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region believed to have been caused by gas
Around 600 petitioners gather to file complaints against steel manufacturer blamed for this year’s massive fish kill
More than 1.3 homes experience power outages after Typhoon Megi makes landfall
The petition calls for the kingdom's women to be treated "as a full citizen, and decide an age where she will be an adult and will be responsible for her own acts," said campaigner Aziza Al-Yousef.
Tensions between the longtime rivals have spiked over a recent attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir that New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
South Korea welcomes US blacklisting Chinese business for backing North's ‘development of weapons of mass destruction’
Says will open Philippines to trade, commerce with China, Russia while heading toward ‘point of no return’ in ties with US
A Chinese court handed down a three-year suspended jail sentence for a prominent labour activist while two other defendants were given 18-month suspended sentences, a lawyer and rights group said.
Officers raid hospital where Baek Nam-gi was pronounced dead months after being hit by police water cannon during protest
Remark comes after Japan scrambled fighter jets after Chinese aircraft flew over Miyako Strait on way to drills in Pacific
China investigating bank for continuing to operate in defiance of sanctions aimed at blocking Pyongyang's nuclear funds