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Philippine govt, ex-rebels resume peace talks

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-25 15:15

MANILA - The Philippine government and the former rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resumed formal talks in Malaysia on Monday to discuss the remaining issues on four annexes of their initial pact.

Philippine government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF peace panel head Mohagher Iqbal led the 36th formal exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur.

The MILF said both parties will try to settle "substantive issues" on power-sharing, wealth-sharing, transitional arrangement and modalities, and normalization.

"(These issues) consistently evaded the two negotiating teams for almost six months since they started discussions on these in August last year," the MILF said in a statement.

The former rebel group said both panels are also expected to formally organize the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) which will consist of local and foreign members.

The TPMT will monitor and assess compliance by parties of the comprehensive agreement and other agreements. Also, as part of the Joint Normalization Commission, the TPMT will have a final say on whether an Exit Agreement will be signed by both panels.

The Exit Agreement concludes the peace negotiation, after the parties have fully complied with all their obligations.

The Philippine government has earlier expressed hope that it could forge a comprehensive peace agreement with the MILF by March following the completion of the four annexes that form part of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed in October 2012.

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