Philippines Muslim Factions Agree to Unity Talks: Government

December 15, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: AFP

Rival Muslim factions in the Philippines have agreed to open unity talks on the urging of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's eldest son, the government said Saturday.

Manila's peace negotiator said Saif Al-Islam Al-Kadhafi raised the need for unity between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the breakaway separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during a meeting with MILF leaders earlier this week.

"Let us unite so we will have just one approach and we can show the Islamic countries that we are consolidated and not individual groups," Jesus Dureza quoted Al-Kadhafi as saying.

The MNLF launched a bloody separatist war in the southern Philippines in the 1970s but signed a peace accord with the government in 1996 in exchange for the establishment of a Muslim autonomous area.