Aquino assures CFR of RP's determination to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao

September 25, 2010 11:34 am 

MANILA, Sept. 24 — President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday (Friday in Manila) assured the United States Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that his administration will employ all available means to achieve lasting peace and equitable prosperity in Southern Philippines.

In his speech at the CFR forum at the CFR auditorium in New York, the President told America's most influential foreign-policy think tank that his administration had a compact with the Filipino people who were dreaming of real peace and unity.

"My administration's compact with the Filipino people will demand no less than the attainment of lasting peace and equitable prosperity. We will employ all the tools at our disposal to achieve this," he said.

The CFR is an American non-profit non-partisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in US foreign policy and international affairs.

The President said he had informed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) of the government's strong desire to revive the stalled negotiations with the Moro secessionist group and offered a table to restart the talks.

"I have offered a place at the table for everyone who wants to talk about peace to unite our country and bring the disillusioned and the disenfranchised, (and those) who have chosen the violent path, back into our democratic mainstream," he said.

While busy strengthening the country's infrastructure, the President told them that he would also "create the peaceful and stable environment necessary for economic growth."

In Manila, Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Edwin Lacierda said the President was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia at the sidelines of the 65th UN Session of the UN Assembly.

Lacierda said the President was expected to inform the Malaysian Prime Minister of its role as third party facilitator at the resumption of the GRP-MILF peace process. (PNA) RMA/PCOO/ssc


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