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24 SEPTEMBER 2010
PRESIDENT AQUINO THANKS MALAYSIAN PMFOR ROLE IN THE PEACE PROCESS
24 September 2010, New York – President Benigno S. Aquino III today personally expressed his gratitude to Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak for Malaysia’s continuing active role in the attainment of lasting peace in Mindanao.
Meeting while the two leaders are in New York for the the 65 th United Nations General Assembly, President Aquino also briefed the Malaysian Prime Minister on the Philippines’ readiness to resume peace negotiations in October.
“President Aquino told Prime Minister Najib that bringing peace and sustainable economic development to Mindanao is a priority of his administration,” according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, who was with President Aquino during the meeting.
“The President succeeded in conveying to Malaysia his clear and complete commitment to the peace process and his determination to realize all our hopes and dreams for peace and Mindanao,” Secretary Romulo said.
During the meeting, President Aquino also reiterated to Prime Minister Najib the desire of the Philippines to welcome Malaysia as a facilitator in the peace process.
“In inviting Malaysia to play another key role in the peace process by assuming the role of facilitator, the President showed that he is resolute in his desire to resort to all the best options when it comes to peace,” Secretary Romulo explained, adding “such a facilitator role could be formalized through a Terms of Reference agreed to by all parties.”
President Aquino informed Prime Minister Najib that the Philippine Government has already formed the Government Peace Panel and “hopes that the talks could already start next month, with the first meeting to be held in the Philippines. This will help in boosting the needed trust and confidence in the peace process.”
Both leaders agreed that aside from exploring ways to further strengthen bilateral relations, any issue that the two countries face will be dealt with through dialogue and diplomacy, including protecting their respective nationals in each other’s country.
He also assured the Malaysian Prime Minister of the Philippine Government’s continued cooperation in the case of two Malaysians abducted in North Borneo in February this year. President Aquino assured Prime Minister Najib that every effort is being taken to rescue them safely.
“The Anti-Terrorism Council and Philippine security forces are presently verifying if they are still in the area. We hope to work more closely with Malaysia to resolve the case,” the Philippine President told the Malaysian Prime Minister. END
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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