Peace talks gets support from Nobel laureate

A Nobel Peace Prize laureate who is now a member of the British House of Lords is set to arrive in Manila on Wednesday to support the Mindanao peace process, the British embassy in Manila said.

Lord David Trimble, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 along with John Hume for efforts that led to a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland, will be in a five-day visit in the Philippines.

His trip comes at the heels of a new framework agreement signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in October.

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The accord, which involves the establishment of a new autonomous political entity named "Bangsamoro", rekindles hope of bringing peace to conflict-battered Mindanao.

Talks between government and MILF meanwhile resumed in Malaysia Monday, with final details of the framework deal expected to be ironed out by December.

Lord Trimble is scheduled to meet leaders involved in the Mindanao peace process to share his experiences and insights, an embassy statement showed.

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Among the officials he will be speaking with are Vice President Jejomar Binay, Presidential Peace Process Adviser Teresita Deles, lawmakers, as well as civil society groups.

"This is one of a series of activities involving the UK and the British Embassy as part of the  UK’s role as a member of the International Contact Group that supports the Mindanao peace process," the statement noted.

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Prior to serving in the British Parliamend, Lord Thimble was the First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party between 1995 and 2005, and an MP for Upper Bann from 1990 to 2005.

Lord Trimble is also involved in other efforts at conflict resolution, including the Middle East peace process.


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