Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Philippines, Malaysia agree on cooperation in developing Mindanao region

Malaysia has agreed to provide assistance to the Philippine government in developing the Mindanao region, after facilitating a peace deal between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Philippines' largest rebel group.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III agreed to tap a joint committee to draw up social-economic development plans for the Mindanao region, in support of the Philippine government's efforts in consolidating peace and further fostering sustainable development in the region, according to a joint statement released after the two leaders met in Manila on Monday.

The statement said both leaders had called for the reconvening of the committee "at the earliest opportunity," which would focus on the cooperation such as Madrasah education, Halal industry, Tabung haji, Islamic banking, university twinning and student-exchange programs, among others.

In his first visit to the Philippines since assuming office in 2009, Najib witnessed the signing of a landmark peace agreement between the Aquino government and the MILF today, which may bring an end to the decades old insurgency in which some 120,000 had died.

The Philippine government is deeply appreciative of the continued support of the Malaysian government in the facilitation of the peace talks since 2001 and in their leadership of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) since 2004, the statement said.-The Philippine Star (October 15, 2012 11:20PM)

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