UK highlights importance of investments in southern PH-A A +A
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
DESPITE the recent clashes between Philippine government forces and the rouge members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), British Ambassador to Manila Asif Ahmad highlighted the importance of foreign investment in the country particularly to institutionalize peace and development in Mindanao (south of Manila).
During the press conference for UK Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Stephen Green, the envoy said that peace and security in the southern Philippines is not only important for the country but also for the international community at large.
"We have long supported the peace process in Mindanao. The situation in Zamboanga [City] is a tragic one and we hope there would be no further loss of lives," Ahmad said.
"We hope it can be resolved; resolved in such a way that people suffering will be protected," he added.
The envoy noted that the entrance of foreign investments in the Philippines, including that of the United Kingdom, is important "not only for the progress of the North but for a peaceful South" as well.
Clashes between government forces and the breakaway group from the MNLF entered its second week Tuesday.
The two-week fighting has already caused the death of about 100 people as the group continues to derail the peace process between the Philippine government and the main Muslim group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The peace process, whose framework agreement was signed in October 2012, is aiming to end the 40-year conflict between the rebel group and the Catholic-majority country.
The peace process, with only one Annex (normalization) left to be agreed upon, was nearing completion when the fighting started.
The United Kingdom is a member of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) that oversees the peace process in Mindanao. The government has routinely sent British peace and security experts in the region to report on the current peace agreement. (CVB/Sunnex)