A three-member delegation from the Philippine government is due to attend the annual gathering of foreign ministers of Muslim countries on Wednesday.
In a letter, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani invited Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to attend the proceedings of the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in the state of Kuwait on 27-28 May.
Aside from closed-door sessions and those restricted to OIC member-states only, the Philippine delegation was given access to observe the proceedings.
The delegation is composed of Undersecretary Rafael Seguis of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Secretary Yasmin Busran-Lao of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, and Undersecretary Jose Lorena of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Lorena said the invitation shows that the Saudi-led OIC, which has been deeply involved in Mindanao’s peace process for years, recognizes the efforts of the Philippine government in bringing about meaningful autonomy to Mindanao in order to resolve the conflict in southern Philippines and achieve just and lasting peace.
The invitation acknowledges the efforts and commitments of the present administration to finally solve the problem of Muslim Filipinos in Mindanao, he said.
Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Murad Ebrahim has also been invited to deliver a speech before the OIC foreign ministers.
Senior leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who comprise the OIC-sponsored Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) are expected to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the event in Kuwait.
The invitation to the gathering in Kuwait is an offshoot of Madani’s four-day visit to the Philippines last April, where he met President Benigno S. Aquino III to discuss ways on how the OIC can help the Bangsamoro peace process.
The April visit enabled Madani to get a comprehensive view of developments in the peace process in Mindanao, especially the progress of the peace deal between the MILF and Philippine government.
The head of the group of 57 Islamic countries extended his invitation to the Philippine government and members of BCF to meet in Kuwait to achieve a common ground amid the developments in the southern peace process.
Madani said that the BCF provides an excellent stage for the sides to communicate and to express their views.
During his visit here, Madani held meetings with legislators who are tackling the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Mandani made an earlier call for legislators not to dilute the proposed measure saying that the BBL is part of the continuing process in finding a political solution to address the root causes of the conflict in Mindanao.
We hope that it will pass and it will not be diluted, he said. (PNA)