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MILF to regroup its panel for peace talk with government

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The anti-government group Moro Islamic Liberation Front said today it would re-establish its panel that would negotiate a peace accord with the Philippine government only after the government completes the reconstitution of its panel.

"As soon as the government completes its panel, we can come out very shortly with our own panel... " said Mohagher Iqbal, the chairman of the MILF committee on information.

Iqbal, who previously chaired the MILF panel, said their organization is considering several names who will be its chief negotiator. "We have a shortlist but I not yet privileged to disclose it," the MILF official said.

Both the MILF and the government have disbanded its peace panel at the later part of the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The new administration has named those who will compose its panel, except for one member.

In his state of the nation address in July, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said he is hoping that the peace talks with the MILF would resume after the month-long Ramadan, the Muslim's holy festivities that ends middle next month.

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Iqbal said it was actually easy for the MILF to reconstitute its panel and subsequently resume the peace talks. He said what both sides must do is to inform the broker country that the line- up of their respective peace panels are complete.

"Then the facilitating country can schedule a talk," said Iqbal.

 

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