Posted by: JWP | 11/14/2009

Islamist rebels-US State exec meeting before Clinton visit bared

By Allan Nawal, Rosa May de Guzman

Inquirer Mindanao

First Posted 11:46:00 11/14/2009

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – (UPDATE) A Moro Islamic Liberation Front official met with a US State Department official six days before State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Philippines, a rebel official said in a statement on Saturday.

Muhammad Ameen, chairman of the MILF’s secretariat, said the meeting between Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scot Marciel – accompanied by US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Leslie Basset, Second Secretary Michael Pignatello and another US official – and Mohagher Iqbal, the MILF’s chief negotiator, took place in Makati City on November 6.

Clinton arrived in the country on November 12 and met with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the following day, during which she told the President that the US government was willing to help facilitate talks between the government and the MILF.

She also urged the government and the MILF not to waste time in forging a peace agreement before Arroyo’s term ends in 2010.

The MILF had issued a statement urging Clinton to help convince the Arroyo government to sign a peace agreement.

“Clinton can influence and convince the government for the early solution of the Mindanao conflict. When it happens, it will lead to peace and it would be advantage to all of us,” Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF political affairs, said in that statement.

It was not clear whether or not Iqbal relayed the same call to Marciel during their November 6 meeting.

Ameen would not provide details of the meeting but added that Marciel also handed Iqbal “a letter from President Barack Obama, which was signed by Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell.”

The letter was in response to a letter sent by MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim to Obama after he won the presidency last year, Ameen said.

In his Nov. 8, 2008, Ebrahim asked Obama about the status of the US policy regarding the MILF and the Moro question.

read in full @ Inquirer

Background:

Who’s sleeping with the enemy?

Editorial: Business Mirror 20 OCTOBER 2009

Last weekend Leslie Bassett, the US Embassy’s charge d’affaires, met with the top officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The meeting raises several questions. Business Mirror

US troops in RP only in ‘supportive role’—Clinton

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.netFirst Posted 13:03:00 11/13/2009

MANILA, Philippines – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated Friday that American troops in the country were playing only a “supportive role” and were not engaged in actual combat operations.

But Clinton assured the Philippines that the US government would “continue to provide support where appropriate” as part of its commitment to strengthen its ties with the Philippines.

“In respect to the conflict in Mindanao we have provided the training and assistance but not involvement in combat by United States forces. It is a facilitating and supportive role to fight those who would disrupt communities who would engage in terrorist activities . . .,” she said in a forum at the University of Sto. Tomas aired live on the ANC channel.

The US official added that “we are going to continue to provide support where appropriate in partnership and in pursuance of the friendship that we feel for the people of the Philippines.”

American troops, mostly concentrated in Mindanao, are here for joint military exercises with the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the Visiting Forces Agreement.

Clinton bewailed the beheadings and kidnappings in the south, saying that these are “contrary to every religion and faith.”

“I’m hoping that the conflict will be drawn to a close over the next month,” she said.“I know everybody’s working very hard on that but there has to be a lot of dialogue between people. There has to be commitment to build a better future,” she added.  (End of article)

Did Clinton say next month?? Hell would probably freeze over or is she being naive…..

Clinton honors fallen WWII soldiers at the American Cemetery in Taguig

MANILA, Philippines—US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored on Friday fallen World War II American and Filipino heroes at the Manila American Cemetery in Taguig City where she led the wreath-laying rites. Inquirer

 

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Responses

  1. […] State Dept continues meeting, Clinton urges peace, with Islamic terrorists in Philippines By creeping An update to this previous post. The State Dept. is meeting with, and Hillary Clinton is urging peace with, Islamic terrorists responsible for the deaths of at least two American soldiers. Another whiskey tango foxtrot moment. Hat tip @kabayan […]


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