OIC backs Bangsamoro peace process, sees its success despite challenges PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 13:54

The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) formally reaffirmed yesterday  the group’s support for the Bangsamoro peace process and expressed optimism over its success despite challenges it had faced in the past few months.

OIC Secretary-General Iyad bin Ameen Madani declared after a meeting with officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that the OIC is encouraged by the “sincere desire and the serious effort” displayed by all parties involved in the peace process.

Madani also announced that the OIC will invite representatives of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) in the upcoming 42nd OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Kuwait on May 27. The BCF is an OIC-sponsored body that was formed to harmonize and settle differences between the MILF and the MNLF.

Madani said the people and the government of the Philippines will make the final decision on the fate of the peace process, but the OIC hopes “this political process will continue.”

“We feel — on both sides (the Philippine government and the Moro fronts) — the sincere desire, and the serious effort to reach a conclusion,” he said, adding that “We are optimistic. We are supportive.”

Madani, who presided over the meeting of the BCF in Davao City, said the group discussed the current legislative process involving the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that aims to legalize the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Philippine government and the MILF in March last year.

“We had an agenda that includes the peace process that is taking place now – the CAB and the BBL,” he said.

Madani is expected to meet President Benigno S. Aquino III and Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today, April 20 before flying back to Saudi Arabia, which hosts the headquarters of the OIC, a group that has 57 Islamic countries as members.

He leads an eight-member delegation that met Friday with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles after a three-day trip to Malaysia, which facilitated the peace talks between the government and the MILF.

He has also met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who was joined by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, Bai Sandra Sinsuat A. Sema, and Sitti Djalia Hataman. He also met with the Senate Peace, Unity and Reconciliation Committee Chair Senator Teofisto Guingona III.

Madani expressed his gratitude “for the opportunity to come here. We wanted to come here. Symbolically, we want to be in Mindanao.”

“I’m not here to be the first [OIC secretary general to visit Mindanao]. I’m here to show that we are concerned. We are supportive,” he said.

“I have to express my appreciation to government of the Philippines for making this visit possible – their hospitality and accommodations,” he added.

Together with Madani are Sayed El-Masry, OIC Special Envoy for Peace in the Southern Philippines; Maha Mostafa Akeel, director of the OIC Department of Information; Dr. Hassan Ahmad Abdein, Head of the OIC Department of Muslim Communities and Minorities; Saidu Dodo, Liaison Officer for OIC Special Envoy for PCSP; Mohammed Adoum, Personal Assistant to the OIC Secretary-General; Mohammed Naghi, Protocol Officer; and Ahmad Madani.