Philippine gov't hopes for final peace deal in upcoming peace talks

2014-01-19 09:48:50 GMT2014-01-19 17:48:50(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MANILA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government is optimistic that the upcoming round of peace talks between the government and the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will be able to address the issues blocking the way to a final peace agreement, a senior official said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in an interview over state-run radio Rdayo ng Bayan that the government is hopeful both sides will reach an agreement to finally end the conflict.

A final peace agreement would be a big boost to democracy and peace especially in Mindanao, he added.

The government of the Philippines and MILF panels agreed last December to try to finalize the remaining Annex on Normalization and the addendum on the Bangsamoro waters in January this year and eventually come up with a final peace agreement.

The two panels are also working closely with the Transition Commission and Congress to ensure the smooth passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Previously, the two sides have signed annexes on transitional arrangements and modalities; revenue and wealth sharing; and power sharing.

The MILF has been fighting government troops for decades to establish a self-rule Muslim state in southern Philippines.

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