Philippines: Tripartite meeting to discuss peace in the Philippines underway in Jeddah

Click here: IINA – Tripartite meeting to discuss peace in the Philippines underway in Jeddah

A tripartite meeting, initiated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to boost the peace process in the Philippines began at the Crown Plaza Hotel here on Saturday. The Secretary General of OIC Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu chaired the opening session of the three-day session. The delegates, comprising representatives of the Philippine government, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the OIC, are discussing the implementation of the 1996 peace accord between Manila and the MNLF.

… In a speech delivered by his representative, MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari, who is in jail in Manila while on trial over rebellion charges, gave a backgrounder on the Bangsamoro (Moro people) struggle and called upon the OIC and members states “to search their conscience” and support Muslims in the Philippines….On the Philippine government’s side, delegation leader Nabil Tan, an undersecretary at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, expressed the government’s desire to make the peace process a success.

… To strengthen its support for the peace process in the southern Philippines, the OIC expanded the membership of its committee on Mindanao and also gave it a new name. The Committee of Eight added three new members and changed its name to the Peace Committee for Southern Philippines (PCSP). The new members are Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan. They join Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Libya, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Somalia. The committee agreed to renew Indonesia’s chairmanship.

…Ambassador Atta Al-Manan Bakhit, OIC assistant secretary for humanitarian affairs, gave reporters a brief overview of the history and the problem for Muslims in the southern Philippines especially with regard to the economic underdevelopment, despite the rich natural resources of that region, and the deplorable humanitarian conditions, Arab News reported. After years of armed struggle for independence, which was estimated to have resulted in more than 115,000 deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of mostly Muslim people in Mindanao, the government and the MNLF signed a peace accord in 1996.

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