May 31, 2012 News: Malaysia, which has been facilitating the negotiation between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has welcomed the special representative of the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the GPH-MILF peace negotiation during their three-day 28th exploratory peace talks in Kuala Lumpur from May 20-30.
Tengku Dato’ AB’ Ghafar bin Tengku Mohamad, the Malaysian facilitator, has welcomed Honorable Ali Demirci, Director of the Minorities Affairs Department of the Organization Islamic Conference (OIC).
This was the first time the OIC sent its official representative to the GPH-MILF peace negotiation after it was granted observer seat to the Malaysian-facilitated talks.
Demirci represented the OIC Secretary General Tevetoglu Ihsanoglu, who had decided to send his representative in order to observe how the GPH-MILF peace talks are being conducted.
“This will assure a more or less regular representation of the OIC in the GPH-MILF meeting,” he said, while stressing that personality comes and go and that a regular office can take care of its role religiously as far as the peace process is concerned.
Meanwhile, the recently concluded peace talks wrapped up yesterday with both sides stuck up on such tough issues like power-sharing, wealth-sharing, road map of the transition, and concept of normalization.
After the three-day tough bargaining, the parties decided not to come up with a joint statement for reasons neither of the parties gave reasons.
Mohagher Iqbal, chair of the MILF peace panel, said they have progressively discussed issues and concerns relating to the agenda but they still need more time to consider the different aspects in order to come up for a comprehensive peace agreement.
He said the most difficult issue in the agenda was the issue of interim transition, saying it is very delicate and requires more mature handling and time requirement.
“There is wisdom in taking time to discuss it,” he said, without elaborating.
However, he stressed that for the MILF it is not much a problem because we have already laid down our cards and it is up for the other party to respond positively or otherwise.
Also in attendance during the meeting were members of the GPH delegation, MILF peace delegation, and members of the International Contact Group (ICG).
The facilitator adjourned the session without stating the next round of talks between the parties.