The Philippine government and the country's largest Muslim rebel group have reached a deal to end four decades of insurgency in the southern Philippines that has killed tens of thousands of people.

Philippine presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda says government negotiators and the leaders of the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front concluded talks Saturday on the final document, involving the gradual deactivation of rebel forces.

The accord, along with three other agreements, will make up a comprehensive peace pact that is expected to be signed in Manila soon.

The talks Saturday were held in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which has been brokering the negotiations.

While other armed groups remain, turning the Moro rebel group into a government ally is seen as a key step to end the Muslim insurgency.