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Philippines Seek Malaysia's Help in Peace Talks

The Philippines said Saturday it would seek Malaysia’s help in restarting peace talks with the largest Muslim rebel group in the country. Officials expressed hope for the revival of talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) despite clashes between troops and militants around the town of Pikit on the southern island of Mindanao. “We would again enlist the help of Malaysia as a third-party facilitator,” presidential adviser on peace process Eduardo Ermita told reporters. Malaysia has brokered and hosted previous peace negotiations in recent years between Manila and the MILF, which is fighting for an Islamic state in the south of this mainly Roman Catholic country. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said this week she had given a deadline of six months for government negotiators to forge a final peace agreement with the MILF. Full Story

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