Philippines and Muslim rebels sign key peace plan
The Philippines has signed a framework peace plan with the country's largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The deal follows lengthy negotiations aimed at ending a 40-year conflict that has cost an estimated 120,000 lives.
The agreement was reached in early October after talks in Malaysia.
It provides for a new autonomous region in part of the south where Muslims are a majority in a mainly Catholic nation.
The framework deal was signed by the chief negotiators of the government and the rebels, and witnessed by President Benigno Aquino and MILF leader Murad Ebrahim at the presidential palace in Manila.
The two leaders met and exchanged gifts ahead of the signing. Murad Ebrahim, said to be in his 60s, is the first MILF leader to visit the palace.