Japan, UK laud Bangsamoro peace pact signing

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Friday, March 28, 2014


THE governments of Japan and United Kingdom (UK) immediately lauded the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In separate statements, British Ambassador Asif Ahmad and Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe both said they are hoping that the CAB signing will ultimately result to finally attaining lasting peace in Mindanao.

"The CAB is a truly Filipino solution to the conflict that will not just bring benefit to Mindanao but to the country as a whole and of which all Filipinos can be proud," said Ahmad.

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"This development marks another milestone toward a just and lasting peace in Mindanao," said Urabe.

On Thursday, the GPH and the MILF finally signed the CAB in elaborate ceremonies held at the Malacanang Palace and was witnessed by President Benigno Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, and some 1,500 guests.

The two envoys, then, commended everyone that played parts in the protracted peace negotiations between two warring factions.

"It is moments like these that diplomats strive for and few have the privilege of being a part of a moment of history. I applaud everyone, including colleagues from the UK who have made a contribution to peace," said Ahmad.

"The Government of Japan commends the efforts made by the parties concerned and strongly hopes that this historical event will give further impetus to the quest for peace and development in Mindanao," said Urabe.

To note, Japan and UK is part of the International Contact Group (ICG) of the GPH-MILF peace talks, along with Turkey and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Ahmad expressed hopes that the efforts of those involved in the peace talks will not go into futile.

He said it is important that those in charge of implementing the provisions of the CAB will have a similar dedication to peace and development of Mindanao.

"Those who will eventually assume key roles in the Bangsamoro will carry the hopes and wishes of the nation on their shoulders. They will be judged not by the importance of their positions, but by the tangible improvements they bring about in the daily lives of citizens," said Ahmad.

"There will undoubtedly be challenges ahead, but with the continued commitment, courage and creativity that has made this agreement possible the dividends of peace will inevitably be realized," he further said.

Ahmad said the Philippines must not lose the opportunity to demonstrate its "increasing political maturity, ability to accomplish things that have been intractable in the past, and potential to emerge as one the world’s economic powers."

Urabe, meanwhile, assured the GPH and the MILF that the assistance of the Japanese government does not end with the CAB signing.

"The Government of Japan welcomes this development and will continue to support the Peace Process for the benefit of all in the Philippines," said Urabe. (HDT/Sunnex)

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