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 bomb was reportedly targeting thousands of Muslims under the leadership of Sheik Dahiru Usman Bauchi, who were rounding off a Ramadan prayers in the square.
Kosovo is locked in a battle between political parties over who should form the next government following an election six weeks ago.
The delegation will discuss providing humanitarian assistance.
Berlin urges Israel to do everything to avoid civilian casualties, after the death of 7 German-Palestinians in an air strike in Gaza.
Taiwan media said a domestic flight had crashed, killing 47 people
ICRC that international law required warring parties to distinguish between military targets and civilian objects such as schools and to protect the wounded, former combatants and detainees.
Unidentified militants opened fire on MP Sada Ali's vehicle, leaving her dead.
With so many of their countrymen dead, the Dutch have been taking a leading role in the international effort to recover and identify the bodies and investigate the cause of the crash.
Protesters defied a ban on pro-Palestine rallies against the Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which has killed over 650 Palestinians, mainly civilians, since July 7.
Tawfiq Okasha said "The children of Israel completely control the media in Egypt."
"There is a framework... to end the violence, and that framework is the Egyptian initiative," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at a joint news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
"The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) condemns the forced expulsion of the Christian brothers of Iraq from their homes, cities and provinces," the group said in a statement
Firefighters used foam spray to douse the flames at the fuel storage facility, bringing the blaze under control
Iraq's politicians have been deadlocked over forming a new government since an election in April
Ukraine's military operations spokesman said the two were downed near Savur Mogila in eastern Ukraine. No details were known about the pilots.