Arroyo wants US to play greater role in Mindanao peace process
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 November) — President Arroyo on Saturday called for “deeper and broader” American participation in the Mindanao peace process and development, two days after Paul Jones, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Manila, led a team of American envoys who met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front officials in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
At the same time, Arroyo told American President George Bush “her administration is pursuing a broad agenda of self-determination for Mindanao,” the government website http://www.ops.com. ph said Saturday.
Arroyo met Bush Saturday morning at the sidelines of the 14th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ meeting at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Arroyo said the broad agenda will be done “through interfaith dialogues and development” as she pointed out it “will provide a second wind for US involvement in Southeast Asia for advancing freedom and prosperity,” the website added.
The President cited the alliance among the Asean member-countries in addressing cross-border crossings of suspected terrorists belonging to the Indonesian-based Jemaah Islamiyah and the Abu Sayyaf.
She said the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have an existing border patrol agreement to interdict terrorists moving through Sulawesi and the Sulu Sea to any of the three countries.
The MILF website http://www.luwaran. com meanwhile reported that chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and deputy chairman for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar led MILF officials who met with Jones’ group to discuss the peace talks, status of the ceasefire agreement and American government projects in Mindanao. Read fully story here.