EU congratulates Philippines on Bangsamoro Deal
by FFE PH News Staff
The world was watching when the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) finally signed the last document in the comprehensive peace agreement between the two parties.
Many world leaders sent their congratulations after the Normalisation Annex was signed by Government peace panel chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday. The signing was witnessed by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles and Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato’ Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed.
In a letter to the Swiss embassy in Manila, the Swedish government said it is ‘confident that the full adherence of the parties to… the agreement and the support of all groupings in the region towards the successful implementation of this peace settlement will significantly enhance stability and the human security of the people in the southern Philippines.’
British Foreign secretary William Hague also sent a letter of congratulations, saying ‘Ending the long-running conflict will not just benefit the region, including Muslims, Christians and Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao, but is vital for the security and economic development of the Philippines as a whole.’
EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy high representative Catherine Ashton commented ‘Signing of the Annex on Normalisation marks the end of a long and difficult process of peace negotiations.
‘It is a truly historic moment, demonstrating the Parties’ commitment to achieving long lasting peace on the Philippines’ island of Mindanao through a unique and holistic concept of normalisation that encompasses the gradual decommissioning of arms, overall demilitarization, and its economic and social development.’
The EU also praised Malaysia for helping in the peace talks. Ashton said the EU will continue to watch for further developments.
Under the Normalisation Annex, the MILF will deactivate its 11,000-member armed force and lay down their weapons. The MILF was also welcomed by the Swiss government as the group showed its intention to sign non-government organisation Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment that prohibits the use of anti-personnel mines and aims to give greater protection to women.
Meanwhile, Coronel-Ferrer said there are still ‘some more finishing touches that would be necessary for the bigger challenge ahead, which is the bigger challenge of implementation.’