EU ambassadors support peace process between Philippine government and
Filipino-Muslim rebel leaders

Vow funding for development projects in southern Philippines

Barbara Mae Dacanay, Correspondent

Gulf News –

3 October 2017

Manila: Ambassadors of the European Union urged the Philippine
government to continue pursuing comprehensive peace process with
Filipino-Muslim rebel leaders, adding the EU is willing to extend
financial assistance to an “insurgent-free” southern Philippines.

“Our visit to Mindanao demonstrates the EU’s continuous support for the
Mindanao peace process and development in the region,” EU Ambassador
Franz Jessen said on Tuesday, after the last leg of EU diplomats’ visit
to Cotabato City on October 3.

“While there are still many challenges which lie ahead, we remain
hopeful that peace and stability will be restored soon in Mindanao. We
call on peace stakeholders to remain steadfast with their commitment to
help push for peace-building in southern Philippines,” Jenssen said.

During the visit, seven EU ambassadors, four EU deputy ambassadors, and
other EU delegates met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Milf/Moro
rebels) chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Autonomy Region in Muslim
Mindanao (ARMM) executive secretary Laisa Alamia; members of the UN
Mindanao Humanitarian Team, the International Monitoring Team (IMT) and
non-government organisation, said Jenssen.

Noting the EU hopes for the complete implementation of the peace
settlement signed by the Philippine government and the 38-year old Moro
group in 2014 (after talks that began in 1997), Jenssen said, “The EU’s
DNA is peace.” The EU received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, he added.

The EU became part of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) that was
created in 2004 to monitor in the southern Philippines the
implementation of the ceasefire agreement forged by the Philippine
government and the Milf/Moro rebels in 2003. The IMT is composed of 60
members from Brunei, European Union, Indonesia, Japan, Libya,
Philippines, and Norway.

The EU has adapted a funding programme for different kinds of
advocacies, said Jenssen, adding its list includes economic
inclusiveness in the region, de-mining, mine risk-related education,
human rights protection, income generation and campaign about the
importance of implementing peace talks.

Jenssen was accompanied by the ambassadors of Austria, Belgium, Denmark
and the Netherlands; deputy ambassadors of Germany, Hungary, France and
Spain; and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Regional Forum (ARF); and the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The Philippine government and the 46-year old Moro National Liberation
Front (MNLF) have also forged two pro-autonomy peace settlement in Libya
in 1976, and in Manila in 1996.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been uniting contents of the peace
settlements forged by the Philippine government with the MNLF and the
Milf/Moro rebels for the attainment of comprehensive peace in the
southern Philippines.

The Philippine government believes that forging a pro-autonomy peace
settlement with Filipino-Muslim rebel leaders is the best option to
prevent the proliferation of Filipino-Muslim extremists. Four
Filipino-Muslim terror group that were inspired by Daesh that is waging
war in Syria and Iraq, attacked Marawi City starting Many 23.