In the Southern Philippines, official talks opened yesterday (Thursday) aimed at seeking peace between the Philippines Government and the moslem rebels.
WS plane taxiis in
MS government team off
CU Datu Manong speaking
MS Admiral Espaldon + groups to camera
MS welcoming rebel group
MS necklaces placed on rebel group
MS rebel group
MS guards at entrance to conference hall
WS state college building
WS interior college + conference room
MS sign onto table
WS pan conference room
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Background: In the Southern Philippines, official talks opened yesterday (Thursday) aimed at seeking peace between the Philippines Government and the moslem rebels.
The talks, behind closed doors, followed initial meetings between Philippines officials and the Moro National Liberation Front -- the single biggest group of rebels, last January in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.
Arriving in Zamboanga City on Wednesday for the talks was the government team headed by the Philippines Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Pangandaman, himself a moslem, who called on the rebels in his opening statement to bring to his government's attention anything that would contribute to reconstruction and development of the Southern Philippines. Datu Manong, Governor of the southern province of Maguindanao, is also part of the government team.
Admiral Romulo Espaldon, who set up the conference site, was on hand to meet the moslem rebel delegates to the talks. The rebels, in colourful local dress, were decked with necklaces by representatives of the Department of Tourism.
But the rebels would not make any early concessions. Most of them said they would listen to the government proposals to end several years of moslem insurgency but would make no promises.