US ambassador hails Zambo’s resilience, reaffirms support to peace in Mindanao PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 12:40

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg, during his visit here Thursday expressed admiration on the spirit of the Zamboangueños in overcoming the tragedies that had occurred in September last year and reaffirmed his support to peace and stability in Mindanao.

“The past few months have been extraordinarily difficult for all those affected by the tragic events here,” said Ambassador Goldberg. “But you’ve demonstrated your unwavering strength and your resilience.”

“Today, we reaffirm our support to peace and stability in Mindanao,” he declared.

Goldberg was in the city to participate in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with local government officials for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Enhancing Governance, Accountability and Engagement (ENGAGE) project.

He explained that the ENGAGE project, which partners with the local government units of Zamboanga City, Isabela City, Lamitan City, Jolo municipality and Sulu province, is anchored on three themes: the importance of consistent and reliable security, the importance of good governance and the importance of enhancing opportunities for people.

“The MOUs symbolize our commitment to focus our efforts on the three themes. The ENGAGE project represents a partnership between the government of the Philippines and the United States; between local governments and civil society organizations, and between elected officials and those who work in their areas to foster good governance and strengthen civic engagement,” said the ambassador.

Before leaving for another engagement, the ambassador emphasized that the United States government has always been behind the Philippines in its goal to promote peace and development.

“The people of the United States stood with you during these recent events; we stand with you now, to collaborate with you to create a peaceful and prosperous Mindanao that can and will stand as a cornerstone for a vibrant, strong and resilient country,” he said.

Goldberg was appointed by President Barrack Obama last year, to replace Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., who has been assigned here since 2010. Ambassador Goldberg has served as US Assistant of State for Intelligence and Research. He was sworn in in November, and this is his first visit to Mindanao, with Zamboanga as his first stop. — FPG/DIS/PIA9-ZBST