Aquino meeting Organization of Islamic Cooperation head on peace process
President Benigno Aquino III is expected to meet with the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for a discussion of the government’s peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that has been set back by a clash between state forces and rebels last January.
OIC Secretary General Iyad bin Amin Madani will speak with President Aquino and Senate President Franklin Drilon before he leaves the country on Monday, a statement from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) said on Saturday.
The statement did not indicate when the meeting would take place.
Madani will also meet with top leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and MILF “to strengthen the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum, which was created by the OIC to harmonize the two Moro fronts,” the Opapp said.
Madani also made courtesy calls on Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
Madani led an eight-man delegation on a four-day visit to the Philippines, a move largely seen as an effort to save the peace process, as lawmakers threaten to block the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, the single piece of legislation needed to establish a Bangsamoro autonomous region in Mindanao and end a decades-long conflict on the island.
The new autonomous region would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), created by the peace agreement between the government and the MNLF.
Mr. Aquino has described the ARMM as a “failed experiment” after the region achieved very little development since it was created in the late 1990s.
The Opapp statement said the OIC mission to Manila was intended “to reaffirm its long support to the Mindanao peace process.”
The OIC is the second-largest intergovernmental organization, next to the United Nations. It is composed of 57 states spread over four continents.
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