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PIA Press Release

GRP-MNLF-OIC tripartite meeting opens Wednesday

Manila (11 March) -- The three-day tripartite meeting of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to review the implementation of the 1996 final peace agreement will open Wednesday (March 11) in Manila.

A four-man delegation from the OIC, headed by Ambassador Sayyed Kaseem El-Masry, is now in the country to attend the three-day session.

The conference will be held at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City from Wednesday to Friday.

El-Masry is the special envoy of OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanuglo.

Other members of El-Masry's delegation are OIC Director Talal Daus, Director Taher Saif and Ali Demirci, El-Masry's special assistant.

Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister Reslan Jeni, who is also the chair of the Peace Committee for Southern Philippines (PCSP), will preside over the confab.

Members of the PCSP-OIC who are resident ambassadors will also attend the meeting.

The GRP delegation is led by Undersecretary Nabil Tan of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) headed by Secretary Avelino "Sonny" I. Razon Jr.

The two previous tripartite meetings were held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Istanbul, Turkey.

Tan said this will be the first time the Philippines will host the confab.

He said among the issues to be discussed are the Shari'ah and Judiciary; Special Regional Security Force and Unified Command for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; Natural Resources and Economic Development; Political System and Representation, and Education.

Gov. Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will attend the three-day meeting as representative of the ARMM.

It may be recalled that the GRP-MNLF signed the historic peace agreement in Malacanang on September 2, 1996 during the presidency of President Fidel V. Ramos.

Signing for the MNLF was MNLF chairman Nur Misuari. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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