KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The largest Moro rebel group in the Philippines has urged the government to speed up peace talks despite unresolved concerns about a renegade commander who threatens to derail the process.

Rebel chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal says formal negotiations to settle a bloody decades-long rebellion in the southern Philippines have gone on for too long since 1997.

He was speaking Wednesday at the start of the latest round of talks brokered by Malaysia.

Iqbal said Manila should leave it to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to solve a problem with one of its most hardline commanders opposed to peace talks. Ameril Umbra Kato has formed his own group of a few hundred followers amid differences with the main rebel group's armed wing. (AP)