Friday, November 23, 2007

OIC Hosts Meeting of Philippine Rivals

Thursday, 15 November 2007
By Adel Al-Malki

A framework to revive the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement was established during the tripartite meeting among the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) held here on November 12. OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu also announced that the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has allocated $16 million for the reconstruction of Southern Philippines to translate the peace process into reality through economic and social development.
Joint work groups to review and further the peace process in the light of the Shariah and Judiciary, special regional security force and the unified command for the autonomous region in Mindanao, natural resources and economic development issues, political system and representation, and education will be formed.
Each of the work group will be composed by three experts from both the GRP and the MNLF.
Their meetings will be facilitated by representatives from the Members of the OIC PCSP.
The first progress reports of the groups will be submitted to the tripartite meeting through the OIC by January 10, 2008.
The recommendations will be studied for discussion at the next tripartite meeting four days later.
The Secretary General thanked the delegations of the GRP and the MNLF for their commitment to the peace agreement.
He also thanked the members of the newly expanded OIC Peace Committee for Southern Philippines (PCSP) for their efforts in helping the two sides resolve their differences and preserve the gains achieved. Ihsanoglu then reminded that the OIC Ministerial Council (ICFM) has twice appealed to the GRP to expedite the legal process against MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari and see to his early release.
This way, he said, Misuari could participate in the next tripartite meeting as well as continue his constructive role in leading the Bangsamoro people.
Randolph Percasio, head of the MNLF delegation, called the meeting historical and a positive step towards achieving peace. He said the MNLF will do its part to achieve the same goal.
Chairman of the PCSP, Indonesian Ambassador Rezlan I. Jenie, also commended the outcome of the meeting.

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