Gov’t, MILF still hold meeting ahead of talks

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05:32 AM March 27th, 2013

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By: Michael Lim Ubac, March 27th, 2013 05:32 AM

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Aquino administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) wish to conclude their peace deal as soon as possible despite the postponement of the scheduled talks in Kuala Lumpur on March 25.

A joint statement signed by government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF panel chair Mohagher Iqbal said the peace panels of both sides held a “special meeting” on that day which “ended with a firm commitment by the two parties to continue the talks in an expeditious manner.”

The special meeting was called in lieu of the 37th Round of Formal Exploratory Talks which was cancelled upon the request of President Benigno Aquino III himself.

The talks were reset to the second week of April not because of the Sabah standoff but to give the government panel more time to review the remaining annexes to the Bangsamoro Framework that was signed in October 2012.

“The parties discussed the composition of the Third Party Monitoring Team and the Independent Commission on Policing, the convening of the Transition Commission in the first week of April 2013, and the Terms of Reference of Task Force Sajahatra Bangsamoro,” said the joint statement.

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