Malaysia committed to providing assistance in ensuring the success of the peace talks held in Kuala Lumpur.
Posted October 29, 2008on:
Malaysia has reassured the biggest Muslim group in southern Philippines that it would continue to back the latter’s peace talks with the Philippine government.
During the visit to Cotabato, Mindanao Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Ahmad Rasidi bin Hazizi :
1. Told leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) of his country’s full support to the group’s ongoing peace overture with Manila.
2. Met with members of the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Committee (IMT) tasked to supervise a fragile four-year-old ceasefire between the MILF and government troops. Brunei, Libya and Japan are three other members of IMT.
3. Met with MILF chair for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar and rebel chief negotiator Mohaqher Iqbal, Rasidi.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has also praised Malaysia for its contribution to her country’s quest for lasting peace in Mindanao.
Although the MILF and the Philippine government signed a truce agreement four years ago, peace talks went into an impasse last year due to the dispute over ancestral land issues and sporadic clashes between the two sides from time to time.
The MILF, which has an estimated 13,000 armed members, wants at least 1,000 villages included in their proposed Muslim homeland in Mindanao. But the Philippine government insists that only 600 pre-dominantly Muslim villages could be included in the suggested MILF entity.