Norway welcomes Philippine peace agreement
Norway welcomes the peace agreement signed Thursday by the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, says Foreign Minister Børge Brende (photo). The agreement brings an end to the conflict on the second largest island in the Philippines, Mindanao. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and several thousand have been internally displaced as a result of the protracted conflict.
The peace agreement gives Bangsamoro the status of an autonomous political entity, and gives the population of Mindanao a large degree of autonomy.
Norway has helped to monitor the ceasefire that was entered into in 2001 by the Philippine authorities and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and has in this way contributed to bringing about a final peace agreement.
“It is encouraging that the parties have now reached agreement on a solution that will help to bring stability and development to Mindanao. By signing this agreement, President Benigno Aquino and the leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have shown courage and made it clear that they want peace,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
“The peace agreement still needs to be implemented, and this process may be challenging. Norway will continue to work for stability in Mindanao in the post-conflict phase,” said Mr Brende.