Switzerland lauds signing of last Annex, Addendum to FAB

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/26 January) – Switzerland hailed the signing of the Annex on Normalization and the Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro on Saturday as a “historic agreement” that shows the commitment of the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to achieve peace.

In a statement issued by its Embassy in Manila, the Swiss government lauded President Benigno S. Aquino III and MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim “for achieving this landmark.”, as well as Malaysian facilitator Tengku Datu Abdul Ghafar Tengku bin Mohamed.

“Recognition is also due to the members of the International Contact Group, which comprises the Geneva based ‘Center for Humanitarian Dialogue CHD’,” the Embassy said.

“The conclusion of the negotiations marks a crucial step for the establishment of the Bangsamoro in Mindanao. Switzerland is confident that the full adherence of the parties to the provisions of the four annexes of the agreement and the support of all groupings in the region towards the successful implementation of this peace settlement will significantly enhance stability and the human security of the people in the southern Philippines,” the statement said.

“Switzerland further hopes that the conclusion of this agreement will contribute towards the resolution of other conflicts and positively influence the stability in the country,” it added.

Switzerland also welcomes the MILF’s pledge to uphold the Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment banning antipersonnel mines it signed on 7 April 2002.

Part E (Unexploded Ordnance and Landmines) of the Normalization annex provides for a joint undertaking for the detection and clearing of unexploded ordnance and mines with the help of experts, including the project “Guidelines in the Implementation of the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines.”

The same provision in the Annex says the demining activity is a measure for the “rehabilitation, reconstruction and development efforts and for the confidence building efforts in support of the larger peace process.” (MindaNews)