RP Tells Malaysia It Is Now Ready for Peace Negotiations
The Philippines has formally informed the government of Malaysia of its readiness to resume the stalled talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Ambassador Rafael Seguis said yesterday.
Seguis, chair of the Philippine government peace panel, returned Thursday night from Kuala Lumpur where he met with Malaysian officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to officially convey to them that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) peace panel has been reconstituted and is poised to restart the peace negotiations.
Seguis conferred with Malaysian Foreign Affairs Secretary-General Rastam Mohd Issa on reviving the Mindanao peace talks which bogged down in August last year.
He made a courtesy call on Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim.
Seguis also informed Malaysia that it will continue to act as the facilitator in the event the GRP-MILF peace talks would push through.
"Malaysia has agreed to concretize the discussion we (the Philippine government) have proposed," Seguis said.
Seguis, a veteran diplomat, said the Philippine government has been preparing to move forward the peace talks.
He also said the government is ready to discuss substantive issues regarding the revival of the peace talks.
Settling the thorny Mindanao problem has been a top priority of the Arroyo government.
President Arroyo has declared that the resumption of the GRP-MILF peace talks has been his "personal commitment."
"I hope 2009 will be a comeback year for peace, progress and prosperity in Mindanao," the President recently said. …