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Philippines, Muslim Rebels Hope to Sign Pact Soon

23 January 2014

The Philippine government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group have begun what they hope will be the final round of talks on ending a decades-long rebellion. Negotiators from Manila and the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front say they hope to iron out differences over the final issues of rebel disarmament and minority Muslim control over resource-rich waters in the negotiations that started Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Despite the optimism, both sides warned a peace pact would not immediately end violence in the southern Philippines, where at least three other armed Islamic groups operate.—AP