Oct 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/11/05MANILA5460.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA5460
2005-11-22 10:53
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 005460

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/EAP, EAP, AND EAP/MTS
STATE PASS TO USIP/SOLOMON
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP FOR ALLEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/23/2015
TAGS: PTER PREL ASEC PINS MOPS EAID MA RP
SUBJECT: MILF/US TIES: A NEW BALLGAME

REF: MANILA 5372

Classified By: (U) Acting Pol/C Paul O’Friel for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)
.

¶1. (C/NF) Summary. According to Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) negotiator, each major constituency of the MILF
was represented in the November 15 meeting between MILF
Central Committee members and Emboffs, and the MILF
leadership recognized the Embassy approach was a “different
ball game.” Despite the evident MILF interest in development
assistance, some MILF hardliners may not yet be convinced of
the desirability of cutting ties to terrorists. End Summary.

¶2. (C/NF) In follow up to their November 15 meeting with
MILF Central Committee members (reftel), poloffs met in
Manila on November 18 with MILF peace process negotiators
Michael Mastura and Musib Buat, who had helped broker the
earlier meeting. Mastura commented that Vice Chairman
Ghazali Jafaar had carefully selected the Central Committee
members for the November 15 meeting. Muhammed Ameen and Jun
Mantawil are from the Secretariat of the Central Committee;
Mantawil is also a member of Chairman Murad’s office. Bobby
Mulana Alonto is a member of the Peace Panel; Sheikh Khalifa
Nando is a member of the Tribunal; Sheikh Ahmad Dule is chief
of the MILF’s Middle Eastern Affairs Bureau. Mastura
observed that each major constituency within the MILF had
been represented.

¶3. (C/NF) Mastura stated that the MILF recognized the
Embassy approach was “a different ball game,” signifying a
step beyond previous contacts through the US Institute of
Peace (USIP). “We know the US Government is reaching out,”
he said. Pressed on the need for the MILF to take concrete,
verifiable steps to cut ties of all its elements with
terrorist organizations, Mastura said only that the MILF
understood the seriousness of the US position.

¶4. (C) Mastura explained that the MILF’s philosophy on the
peace talks was to “play its cards close to its vest” and
pursue slow, methodological, and incremental process to
achieve its objectives. “We don’t want to be locked into a
failed agreement like the Moro National Liberation Front
(MNLF),” Mastura said, adding that Chairman Murad continued
to build consensus within the MILF in support of peace and to
prepare the organization for a comprehensive agreement.
According to Mastura, the MILF’s aim was to begin building
upon the cease-fire and the converging points of agreement
with the GRP to create institutions focused on development.
He noted that the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team
(IMT) already had a non-military component — two Libyan
diplomats and 10 non-military personnel from Brunei are IMT
members — that could easily transition to development
assistance.

¶5. (C/NF) COMMENT. While moderate negotiators like Mastura
and Buat with a vested interest in a successful conclusion to
the peace process may understand the need to take verifiable
steps to cut ties with terrorists, Chairman Murad’s
“consensus approach” likely has to win over all hardliners,
such as Abdul Wahid Tondok and Ameril Kato, who appear to
continue to shelter Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf Group
terrorists.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm
Jones

   

 

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