Updated

The leader of the Philippines' largest Muslim rebel group says it won't give up its armed struggle until a final peace settlement with the government is reached.

The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed a preliminary peace pact last October in a breakthrough toward ending more than 40 years of violence that has killed tens of thousands of people and held back progress in the resource-rich but poverty-wracked southern Philippines. Negotiations, however, still face hurdles in the areas of power, revenue and wealth-sharing by the two sides.

Rebel leader Al Haj Murad Ebrahim told a conference in Malaysia on Wednesday that any delay will set back peace efforts and that his group's armed struggle will continue until a final pact is reached.