World Bulletin / News Desk
Moro Muslims and the Philippine government will extend the current round of peace talks, both sides said on Friday, aiming to clinch a deal to end a four-decade old conflict.
The talks, taking place in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, are in their final stages and will be extended for at least one day, a senior government official said. Sources close to the discussions said an announcement on the outcome may not be made until Monday.
After four days, both sides said they needed time to study details of a deal that would set in train a roadmap to create an autonomous region in Muslim-majority areas of Mindanao island before the end of President Benigno Aquino's term in 2016.
"It's been extended, they are still talking at least until tomorrow and I don't know, it may be further extended," Teresita Quintos-Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, told Reuters.
"We're already in the final stages, both sides need to do more deliberations even among themselves and their principals."
Negotiators from both panels told Reuters last month major obstacles to a framework deal being signed this year after nearly 15 years of stop-and-start talks appeared to have been surmounted after intense diplomacy.
"We certainly want to have an agreement within a more immediate time frame," Quintos-Deles said. "Both sides are being bold and cautious at the same time."
She later told reporters by mobile text message that both sides were pressing for an agreement "that we can uphold and stands the best chance to bring us the peace our people have long been hoping for and deserve".
Ghadzali Jaafar, political officer of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), separately told Reuters the talks were proceeding smoothly, with topics including power-sharing and territorial issues.
"All sides are expecting that the talks would remain smooth so that we can attain a peaceful resolution of the Mindanao conflict," he said.
An accord would set up a 15-member Transition Commission, which has until 2015 to draft a law creating the entity that will replace an autonomous region created more than two decades ago and widely seen as a failure.
More than 100,000 people have died in 40 years of conflict.
An NGO's report warns that destruction of confidence in state, legal and justice systems could lure people into joining ‘struggle for independence’ in troubled region
An apex style committee will be launched to help execute the CPEC
Several rights organizations have issued a joint statement urging to lift unlawful restrictions on rights activist Uktam Pardaev
Thirteen executives of Islamic Renaissance Party have been detained for organizing armed attack on security forces
Two people have been killed in when a plane crashed in a suburban area of Java
According to the International Labor Organization there are still around 3.2 million child labors in Bangladesh
'Indonesians who departed for Syria and supported ISIL should be considered to have conducted terrorism acts,' a judge says
Cambodia has millions of unexploded bombs, however young children are unaware of the danger of the objects.
Move comes as Kabul government gears up to enter peace talks with Taliban
Human rights lawyer says smuggling networks saw opportunity to profit from those fleeing Syrian conflict, with illegal entries believed to match 40-percent increase in legal entries
Pyongyang claims to have successfully launched satellite into orbit
Four-nation talks aimed at ending Afghanistan's 15-year war has been concluded with a call for direct talks between the government and the Taliban by the end of February.
A suicide bomber riding on a bicycle targeted a vehicle carrying security forces in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing 8.
Of fatalities, 5 were inside 16-story building among those collapsed after magnitude 6.4 tremor strikes south Tainan city
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has in Sri Lanka on Saturday morning, on a four-day official visit.
Satellite images taken this week of North Korea's Sohae rocket launch site show apparent fueling activity seen in the past shortly before a rocket launch