Urgent!! PGMA flies to Tripoli for 40th-year anniversary of Qaddafi reign

August 27, 2009 11:45 am 

MANILA, Aug. 27 –President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo joins world leaders and dignitaries invited to Tripoli on September 1 by Libyan Leader and de facto Head of State Col. Muammar Qaddafi for the North African country’s 40th Anniversary of the Great Al Fateh Revolution.

Her two-day visit on September 1 and 2 "will sustain the excellent ties that have existed between the Philippines and Libya since 1976, when diplomatic ties were first established,” according to an announcement of the visit by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

”The visit will also provide the opportunity for the President to reiterate her request for Libya's continuous support for the Philippine peace process as well as for GRP’s bid for OIC Observer status. PGMA and Qaddafi have agreed on pursuing this point during a meeting in Egypt last month."

The visit was first broached when both leaders met at the sidelines of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt last July 16.

MNLF leader Nur Misuari has also reportedly been invited to Tripoli but this could not be confirmed at press time.

The Libyan embassy in the Philippines is also celebrating the important occasion with a gala dinner at a five-star Makati City hotel, inviting selected friends, including former First Lady Imelda R.Marcos. She was a prominent figure in Manila’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Libya, a socialist country, at the time of the Cold War.

Top honchos from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and members of the Organization of Islamic Conference Committee of 13 on the Southern Philippines are also invited to the Makati reception. Indonesia is the current head of the OIC Committee.

Philippine government peace talks with the Misuari-led MNLF resulted to what has become the Tripoli Agreement of 1976. This was followed by the GRP-MNLF 1996 Final Peace Agreement signed in Indonesia.

Since the 70s, high-level official visits have been frequent, capped by the state visit to Libya of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in July 2006.

There are an estimated 12,000 Filipino workers in Libya. (PNA)>br>scs/GJB

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