Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4325 2006-10-12 07:59 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4325 2850759
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 120759Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3459
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//OSD/ISA/AP// IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 004325
STATE FOR EAP AND EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO
JOINT STAFF/J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/CLEMMONS)
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/12/2016
TAGS: PREL PINS PTER MOPS MY RP
SUBJECT: FOREIGN SECRETARY AND NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT PEACE PROCESS; PRAISE U.S.
REF: A. MANILA 4303
¶B. KUALA LUMPUR 1812
Classified By: (U) Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
¶1. (C) Foreign Secretary Romulo and National Security
Advisor Gonzales in an October 11 meeting with Ambassador and
Deputy Chief of Mission expressed cautious optimism about
peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Romulo said Malaysia clearly wanted to help and was playing a
productive role in the negotiations. He noted that the
recent warm meeting between President Arroyo and Prime
Minister Badawi on the margins of the Helsinki Asia-Europe
Summit had underscored the depth and consistency of Malaysian
commitment to facilitating the talks. Romulo and Gonzales,
however, expressed some candid frustrations with Malaysian
facilitator Othman Abdul Razak. Othman’s criticism of
Philippine government positions during the latest round of
talks had encouraged the MILF to ratchet up its rhetoric.
Romulo hastened to re-emphasize Philippine appreciation for
Malaysia’s role, noting that he was weighing how best to
raise the delicate subject of Othman with his counterparts.
¶2. (C) Noting the current difficulties over land rights,
Romulo asked whether the United States would consider
becoming more actively involved in the negotiations. The
Ambassador said the U.S. stood ready to play any role that
might be useful, and noted our ongoing contacts with both GRP
and MILF officials involved in the peace process. She
emphasized that peace was in our interest as well as the
Philippines. Romulo said he had no concrete ideas for a more
active USG role, but wanted to continue discussing it.
¶3. (C) National Security Advisor Gonzales noted that the
October 10-11 bomb attacks in Mindanao appeared to be the
work of recent graduates of a MILF bombing course. A peace
deal would help stop the inflow of foreign terrorist trainers
and weapons fueling the conflict, he said. Gonzales observed
that the Philippines needed to work better with Malaysia and
Indonesia on controlling their vulnerable maritime borders.
Both Romulo and Gonzales praised U.S. assistance to the
ongoing Armed Forces of the Philippines operation to capture
or kill senior Abu Sayyaf Group and Jemaah Islamiyah
terrorists on the island of Jolo. “We want to be seen as
standing together with the United States in this fight
(against terrorism),” Romulo said.
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