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EU welcomes peace accord between Philippines, rebels

BRUSSELS--EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton welcomed Monday an accord between Manila and the Philippines' biggest Muslim rebel group to end a decades-long separatist insurgency in which more than 150,000 people died.

“The early signature of this truly historical document is a major step towards a long-lasting peace in Mindanao, which will lead the island to stability and prosperity,” Ashton said in a statement.

“The EU, as a member of the International Monitoring Team and major development partner in poverty alleviation in Mindanao since 1990, will continue to lend its full support.”

The agreement provides for a new semi-autonomous Muslim area in the resource-rich southern Philippine region of Mindanao, which the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front regards as its ancestral homeland.

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III shows a newspaper featuring a story about the new Philippine peace deal as he meets government peace negotiators at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Monday, Oct. 8.

(AP)

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