Malaysia will begin pulling out its peace monitoring teams from the southern Philippines next month in response to the lack of progress in peace talks between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said Thursday, reported dpa.
"Principally, we want progress. But we have seen that the progress is almost non-recordable," Rais was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.
"So, to continue being what we are there, I think, is a question of resource depletion.
"When there is progress, we should continue. But you see when there is no progress, we should not extend stay," he said.
Last Monday, Rais said Malaysia would not send any more teams to the troubled Philippine island of Mindanao after the mandate of its current team ends in September.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said Thursday that the government would start a "phased withdrawal" of its personnel from as early as next month.
Malaysia contributes the majority of about 60 troops, police and other officers safeguarding a 2003 cease-fire between the Philippine military and the MILF, which is battling for self-rule in the southern Philippines.