Malaysia Backs Continuation of Peace Talks

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COTABATO CITY - A top Malaysian official has batted for peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to answer the long quest for lasting peace in Mindanao.Malaysian Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia pushed for the resumption of stalled talks between the MILF and GRP peace panels as an ultimate key to peace and progress on conflict-gripped Moro communities in Mindanao, during his keynote address as guest of honor at the recent 21st anniversary fete of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)."Development will bring growth, progress, reduce poverty, improve access to education and increase the standard of living," Mulia said.Mulia stressed that "peace and development in Mindanao is dependent on the successful conclusion of peace negotiations between the GRP and MILF."He said the Malaysian government agrees to remain as the Third Party Facilitator through the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in the MILF-GRP peace talks.Mulia was accompanied in his visit here by Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Saad Ibrahim, from whom local journalists tried but failed to get reaction to the dissension between the two negotiation panels over the role of third facilitator spokesman Othman bin Rajak. …