EU envoys reaffirm vow to support Mindanao peace process, dev’t
The European Union (EU) ambassadors reiterated their commitment to support the peace process and development in Mindanao as they visited Cotabato City on Tuesday.
“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 in a statement.
“While there are still many challenges which lie ahead, we remain hopeful that peace and stability will be restored soon in Mindanao,” he added.
The ambassador also urged peace stakeholders to remain steadfast with their commitment to rebuild the southern island.
“We call on peace stakeholders to remain steadfast with their commitment to help push for peacebuilding in Southern Philippines,” Jessen said.
The EU and its member states said they visited Cotabato to “promote the culture of peace.”
“The EU’s DNA is peace,” Jessen said.
During the tour, the group of Ambassadors said they met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia, and groups such as the United Nations Mindanao Humanitarian Team, the International Monitoring Team (IMT), and nongovernment and civil society organizations in Mindanao.
The EU said its funding is targeting support for increasing inclusiveness through various information and consultation activities, demining and education related to mine risks, monitoring through the Third Party Monitoring Team and protection of human rights.
Jessen, together with EU Member States Ambassadors Jan Top Christensen (Denmark), Marion Derckx (Netherlands), Embassy of Netherlands Ambassador Harald Fries (Sweden), József Bencze (Hungary), Bita Rasoulia (Austria), Michel Goffin (Belgium), and Mihai Sion (Romania), visited Cotabato City from October 2 to 3.
They were joined by deputy ambassadors Roland Schissau (Germany), David Ambrus (Hungary), Thomas Wiersing policy officer, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) EEAS European External Action Service (EEAS), Edoardo Manfredini and Javier Prieto, programme manager and regional senior adviser from EU Delegation, and Christine Carole, counsellor (France), Silvia Magdalena Vaca, senior programme manager (Spain).
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