MANILA (March 24) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who was credited with the Belfast agreement in 1998, has agreed to serve as an adviser to the peace talks between the government and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Palace deputy spokesperson Loreli Fajardo said President Arroyo was confident Blair, with all his experience, can contribute a lot to resolving the country’s peace and order problems in Mindanao.
But according to Rafael Seguis, the proposal to invite eminent people as advisers would have to be approved by Malaysia, the facilitator of the talks.
“President Arroyo also explained to Blair that this was something we could not do unilaterally, and that the two other parties – Malaysia and the MILF — would have to approve first,” Seguis said.
Meanwhile, militants said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are using each other to repair the damage created by their all-out support to ex-US President George W. Bush’s all-out war in Iraq.
They also cited the duo for trying to and gain global mileage for “bogus efforts” to achieve peace in Mindanao.
“Mrs. Arroyo and Tony Blair are using each other to advance their respective political agenda, one of which is to erase global distrust on them for supporting Bush’s military intervention and war of aggression in Iraq. This visit of the former British strongman is meant for image building and public relations purposes,” the leftwing fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya said in a press statement.
Blair arrived in Manila on Sunday for speaking engagements. Yesterday, he delivered speeches at the Ateneo de Manila University and at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.