2 British Experts to Help RP in Peace Negotiations

Article excerpt

Two top British peace negotiators will arrive in Manila this evening to share their experience that led to the signing of the so-called Good Friday Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998.

Presidential Peace Process Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. said Jonathan Powell and Gerry Kelly, who were both involved in the peace process in Northern Ireland, will hold a lecture on the Northern Ireland peace agreement which, to some extent, may be used in resolving the long-drawn Mindanao conflict.

President Arroyo has formed a new government peace panel headed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis that will negotiate with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Talks between the government and the MILF were stalled following the aborted signing of the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) in August last year.

Esperon said the government is ready to resume peace negotiations with the MILF.

Powell served as chief of staff to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007.

He studied in King's School Canterbury, Oxford University in England and University of Pennsylvania in the United States.

After graduation from college, Powell worked for British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Granada Television Network before joining the Foreign Office in 1979.

Powell's most crucial job was his role in the Northern Ireland peace talks, which led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. …