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Philippines, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Appointed to Dialogue with MILF

ICC Note:

The Filipino government has appointed current foreign affairs undersecretary for special concerns, Rafael Seguis, to resume peace discussions with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels after a Memorandum of Agreement that would have led to the creation of a wholly autonomous Muslim majority region in Mindanao was stalled.

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12/2/08 Philippines (AsiaNews) The Filipino government has appointed a new representative for peace discussions with the rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Filling this delicate role will be the current foreign affairs undersecretary for special concerns, Rafael Seguis, personally selected by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

It is the first time that a diplomat still in service will fulfill this kind of delicate role, but the situation of tension and the sudden interruption of peace negotiations has prompted the government to select a figure of unquestioned competence.

It is a sign of hope in the peace talks, suddenly cut off last September 3 after the controversy following the failure to sign the Memorandum of Agreement that would have led to the creation of an autonomous Muslim majority region in Mindanao.

In the meantime, events continue for the week for peace in Mindanao, which ends tomorrow, December 3. In recent days, religious and secular leaders and the faithful have promoted a gesture full of significance in order to foster interreligious dialogue: the Christians, priests and laity, have visited the local mosque, while the Muslims have reciprocated by visiting the Christian church. In an open letter, the Muslim leaders have also emphasized that “if Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace.”

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