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Catholic lay group tapped for Govt-MILF peace efforts

September 14, 2013 8:46pm
A Catholic lay workers' group has been tapped to help the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front in their efforts to forge a peace agreement.
 
Peace panels of both sides invited Community of Sant’Egidio to become the fourth non-state member of the International Contact Group (ICG), the MILF said Saturday.
 
If it accepts, the Community of Sant'Egidio will replace The Asia Foundation (TAF), which became part of the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) in the peace process, the MILF said. 
 
"The Community of Sant'Egidio began in Rome in 1968, in the period following the Second Vatican Council. Today it is a movement of lay people and has more than 60,000 members, dedicated to evangelisation and charity, in Rome, Italy and in more than 73 countries throughout the world," the MILF said.
 
It added the Community of Sant'Egidio is a "Church Public Lay Association," whose different communities spread worldwide share the same spirituality and principles.
 
The MILF said the formal invitation letter was signed in Kuala Lumpur by panel chairpersons Miriam Coronel (government) and Mohagher Iqbal (MILF).
 
In March 2012, the community invited three MILF leaders to Rome, including Iqbal, peace panel member Michael Mastura, and ulama Sheikh Zaid Abdulsalam.
 
Presently, the ICG has eight members, four states, and four international non-government organizations.
 
These include Turkey, United Kingdom, Japan, and Saudi Arabia (states) and Muhammadiyah, Conciliation Resources, Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, and now Community of Sant’Egidio.
 
ICG was created in 2009 following clashes between the MILF and government forces over the junking of a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD). – KDM, GMA News 



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