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Philippine president to lobby OIC seat during Turkey visit
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1373 days ago | Tuesday, 15th September , 2009 , 20:08 [pm] | Azerbaijan
|.||Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will lobby for the approval of the country’s bid for an observer status in the influential Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) when she meets the Muslim bloc’s leader on the sidelines of her state visit to Turkey this week, the government said Monday.|
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will lobby for the approval of the country’s bid for an observer status in the influential Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) when she meets the Muslim bloc’s leader on the sidelines of her state visit to Turkey this week, the government said Monday.
Arroyo, who will be in Turkey from Sept. 16 to 17 upon the invitation of Turkish President Abdullah Gul, will meet with OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to update him on the peace progress in Muslim Mindanao, a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
Peace talks between Manila and Muslim separatists in Mindanao have been stalled since August last year. Clashes frequently broke out and more than three scores of soldiers and Muslim guerrillas were believed to have been killed since the peace negotiation collapsed.
An observer status will give the Philippines access to the 57-member OIC which could become crucial in the government’s peace initiatives, the government said.
Manila applied for an observer status in 2004 but it has never been approved.
Amid assurances of support from a number of OIC states, the Philippines would need the consensus of the bloc’s 57 members to secure an observer status.
Former secessionist group Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)is the only one recognized by the OIC as the sole legitimate representative of Muslims in Southern Philippines.
The OIC remains a major player in the resolution of decades-old armed conflict in the country’s restive southern region. It plays the role of facilitating peace negotiations, through Malaysia, between the Philippine government and the MILF, an armed Muslim group that broke away from the MNLF after it signed a peace accord with the government in 1996.xinhuanet, Voice of a Nation