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PIA Press Release

Gov't prepared to pursue peace talks based on authentic consultations

Manila (25 November) -- The Philippine government is prepared to go back to the negotiating table with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as soon as positive results are gathered from the ongoing consultations with stakeholders and affected communities in Mindanao.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said this was what President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo told United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during their meeting Saturday night (Nov. 22) at the Ministry of Defense (MOD) compound here.

Briefing the Philippine media at the Hotel Las Americas Pardo in Miraflores District here, Dureza said Rice asked the President about the developments in ongoing peace process in Mindanao. The President explained the new paradigm of her administration in pursuing the peace talks with the MILF based on more authentic consultations and not dictated by any armed group.

He said the President, also expressed her gratitude for the continuing US assistance in the Mindanao peace process.

Dureza expressed confidence that the ongoing consultations with the stakeholders as mandated under the new paradigm might be completed very soon.

"There might be a new announcement very soon about the resumption of peace talks with the MILF. But she (President Macapagal-Arroyo) reiterated the bottomline that communities must be secured first and the responsible elements of the MILF must take control," he added.

Hopefully, Dureza said, positive results from the ongoing multi-sectoral consultations would come out as early as next month to enable the government to address the immediate needs of the displaced families and affected communities in the south. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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