Ebrahim to represent ‘Bangsamoros’ in OIC meet in Kuwait – Iqbal
MORO Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Murad Ebrahim will be addressing this year’s gathering of foreign ministers from Muslim countries in Kuwait, which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, according to Mohagher Iqbal, MILF chief negotiator.
Iqbal said it would be the first time for Murad to address the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Council of Foreign Ministers as a representative of the Bangsamoro people through the Bangsamoro Cooperation Forum (BCF).
“One reason is because (Nur) Misuari could not travel anymore because of the warrant of arrest issued against him,” Iqbal said.
But even then, he said MILF saw it as a “very important development.”
“This is an indication that the OIC is adopting a new approach on the issue of the Bangsamoro. The BCF, which the MILF is a member of, will continue to represent the Bangsamoro people,” Iqbal said by phone.
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is also a member of the BCF.
He said Murad would delve into the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the passage of which was being supported by the OIC.
Iqbal said Murad would also have a side meeting with OIC officials – led by its chair, Iyad Madani – on the BBL.
The MILF has said it expected that the BBL that Congress would pass would not be exactly the same BBL that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission had drafted.
“Not exactly the BBL that we crafted but will contain substantial provisions of the original,” Iqbal said.
But he added that the MILF appreciated the process that Congress took and that it also expected that the draft law would further be improved in the plenary and in the bicameral conference.
Aside from the MILF, the government will also be sending a delegation to the Kuwait forum, according to a statement from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
The government delegation, which was given permission to attend the OIC’s closed-door sessions and those for member-states only, will be headed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis.
OPAPP Undersecretary Jose Lorena said the invitation showed that the OIC “recognizes the efforts of the Philippine government in bringing about meaningful autonomy to Mindanao in order to resolve the conflict in southern Philippines and achieve just and lasting peace.”
“The invitation acknowledges the efforts and commitments of the present administration to finally solve the problem of Muslim Filipinos in Mindanao,” he said.
During his four-day visit to the country in April, Madani had already told President Aquino of the OIC’s intention to invite Philippine officials to the Kuwait forum. SFM/ABC
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