PH committed to sign peace pact with MILF

Rappler.com
The Organization of Islamic Conference is also sending a representative to the next round of talks between PH and the MILF

MANILA, Philippines – What’s important is the commitment to peace.

Malacañang said on Thursday, March 22, that while negotiations for a peace settlement with the Moro Islamic Liberation is encountering some difficulties, what is important is the continued commitment of both panels to forge a final peace agreement.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda made the statement as Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu announced that he would  send a personal representative to observe the next round of formal talks in April.

Asked if the presence of Ihsanoglu’s  representative points to problems in the negotiations, Lacierda said chief government negotiator Marvic Leonen was the first to acknowledge that there were difficulties.

At the opening of the talks last March 19, Leona warned that the negotiations may head toward a stalemate.

“(But) the fact that the parties pushed through with the talks is a positive sign that both parties are still hopeful towards arriving at a peace agreement,” Lacierda said.

The 26th round of formal exploratory talks concluded Wednesday after 3 days of negotiations in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

The 2 panels, in a joint statement, said: “The Parties continued their discussions on substantive issues, including power sharing on governance and wealth sharing. The Parties also approved the request of the Office of the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to sit as observer in the GPH-MILF peace talks. Both Parties signed the Terms of Reference for the consultants who will be part of their respective delegations. The Parties agreed to meet again in April 2012.” – Rappler.com