MANILA (May 15) — In its bid to gain an observer status in the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the Philippines has obtained the support of Egypt and Syria. She recently visited both countries.
According to government officials, it is essential that the Philippines gets an observer status in the international organization to bring peace and development in Mindanao. The Philippines has been seeking this status since 2003.
Aside from supporting the Philippines’ bid, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad also pledged their support “to the promotion of interfaith dialogue as an important means of attaining meaningful and lasting peace in conflict areas throughout the world.”
President Arroyo also said member-countries of OIC who are also part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) like Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and Indonesia, may back the Philippines as well.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde had earlier said the President is hoping that the OIC Foreign Ministers Meeting in Damascus in late May will take up the Philippines’ pending bid for an observer seat.