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Government, Moro rebels open new talks
Government negotiator says 'difficult decisions' must be made to reach a lasting dealMembers of the government and Moro peace panels in Kuala Lumpur for the opening of the new round of peace talks. (Photo courtesy of OPAPP)
- Joe Torres, Manila
- March 20, 2012
Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panel, said he is "fascinated by the boldness of the Aquino administration" in its pursuit for an end to armed conflict in Mindanao.
The heart of the discussions center on "what we can really get for our people, their communities and their future," the government's chief negotiator Marvic Leonen said.
"We have always maintained that the end of these discussions should always result in real and genuine representation for the Bangsamoro [Mindanao people]," he said.
Leonen called on the MILF to work with government to "redouble" efforts, spark public debate and make "difficult decisions."
He urged the rebel group to examine its position so that both parties can work together in crafting permanent solutions to ensure a lasting peace.
"Perhaps we can both keep an open mind, we could convince ourselves that there are goals more appropriate rather than sticking to our encrusted position," Leonen said.
MILF suspends ceasefire violators
MILF flags possible peace deal