Moro Muslims name new panel members, ready for talks in Oct

Peace talks with the Philippines could resume in Malaysia in October, Iqbal said.

Moro Muslims name new panel members, ready for talks in Oct

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) announced Monday the members of its new panel that will continue peace negotiations with the Philippine government.

Mohaqher Iqbal has been re-installed as its peace panel chairman.

Peace talks with the Philippines could resume in Malaysia in October, Iqbal said.

"We've created our new panel to widen the representation of other Muslim and non-Muslim ethnic groups," Mohaqher Iqbal, the chief negotiator said.

"We're hoping to restart talks very soon, the earliest would be the first week of October."

Islamic scholar Abhoud Syed Lingga, Sama-Tausug leader Abdullah Camlian and Antonio Kinoc, a leader of a non-Muslim B'laan tribe, were new panel members. Muslims from Maguindanao and Maranao tribes were already represented in the panel.

"We're ready to sit down with the government and discuss the more substantive issues to strike a political solution to this problem delaying development in Muslim communities," Iqbal said.

He said they had a new proposal for a wider Muslim ancestral homeland on the islands of Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-tawi and Mindanao.

The MILF deactivated its peace panel in June 23 following its last meeting with its government counterpart under the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

President Benigno Aquino, who took office on June 30, has promised new negotiations with MILF after Islam's holy month of Ramadan.

After four decades of armed conflict between the Filipino state and the Moro Muslims, the two parties agreed to sign an agreement that would end the conflict. However, the supreme court of the Philippine declared the agreement illegal, which caused the conflict to resume since then.

More than 700,000 people were displaced at the height of the fighting, triggering a humanitarian crisis.


Agencies

Last Mod: 13 Eylül 2010, 11:08
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