EU welcomes peace accord between Philippines, rebels
October 9, 2012, 12:00 am TWN
BRUSSELS--EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton welcomed Monday an accord between Manila and the Philippines' biggest Muslim rebel group to end a decades-long separatist insurgency in which more than 150,000 people died.
"The early signature of this truly historical document is a major step towards a long-lasting peace in Mindanao, which will lead the island to stability and prosperity," Ashton said in a statement.
"The EU, as a member of the International Monitoring Team and major development partner in poverty alleviation in Mindanao since 1990, will continue to lend its full support."
The agreement provides for a new semi-autonomous Muslim area in the resource-rich southern Philippine region of Mindanao, which the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front regards as its ancestral homeland.