Oct 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/10/06MANILA4303.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4303 2006-10-11 07:28 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO5269
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4303 2840728
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 110728Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3416
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 9439
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 3423
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 1139
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 2903
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON IMMEDIATE 3374
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC 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 004303

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP AND EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP (LAWLESS/TOOLAN/BAILEY)
JOINT STAFF/J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/CLEMMONS)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/06/2016
TAGS: PINS KISL PREL PGOV RP
SUBJECT: PRESSING FOR CONTINUED PROGRESS IN MILF PEACE TALKS

REF: A. MANILA 4221
¶B. KUALA LUMPUR 1812
¶C. MANILA 3344
¶D. MANILA 3321
¶E. MANILA 2994
¶F. MANILA 2833
¶G. MANILA 2013

Classified By: (U) Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Ambassador, DCM, and Country Team are pressing
government, military and diplomatic leaders on the importance
of continued progress in the MILF peace process, despite the
recent impasse over land rights. Presidential Advisor on the
Peace Process Secretary “Jess” Dureza told the Ambassador on
September 22 that he believed the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) leadership still recognized the benefits of
peace and pursuing negotiations, but predicted there would be
“no bold breakthrough” before the May 2007 elections. Dureza
added that, with more active involvement by Brunei as well as
a Japanese decision to participate in the International
Monitoring Team, Malaysian facilitators appeared “agitated”
about potentially losing their lead role in the peace
process. He said that he saw no wavering, however, in
senior-level Malaysian interest in bringing about a
successful conclusion to the negotiations. Finally, Dureza
observed that the United States has a high, positive profile
in Muslim Mindanao, due in part to growing public recognition
of the USG’s extensive development projects, exchange
programs, and humanitarian assistance.

¶2. (C) Separately, Executive Secretary Ermita told us on
September 27 that, while there were some tensions among the
negotiators, the Philippine government had no doubt about
Malaysia’s commitment to facilitating the peace talks.
“Malaysia doesn’t want the talks to fail,” he noted. Ermita
said that he believed the MILF as a whole — and Chairman
Murad personally — wants peace. As for potential rogue MILF
commanders, Ermita said that the Armed Forces of the
Philippines was now in a strong position to defend the peace
in Central Mindanao.

¶3. (C) The Ambassador pressed the importance of the peace
process and sought views of British, Canadian, Australian,
New Zealand, and Japanese Ambassadors. All indicated a
common perception that press reporting on the peace talks may
be overly alarmist. The Japanese Ambassador noted that
Japanese International Cooperation Agency President Sadako
Ogata came away from her September 17-21 visit to Mindanao
with the impression that the situation is not as dire as some
have described it. All Ambassadors agreed to raise the
importance of the peace process publicly and with key
Philippine officials in the coming weeks.

¶4. (C) COMMENT. As the peace process confronts the
difficult issue of land rights, brinkmanship by the MILF and
concern from negotiators are not surprising. While we do not
discount the possibilities of miscalculation, we believe the
fundamental desire for peace among the Philippine government,
the MILF, and Malaysia, as facilitator, remains sound. The
environment in which to confront the difficult land rights
issue gradually improves with growing international support
and deepening U.S. development assistance in Muslim Mindanao.
We will continue to press all sides in Manila and Mindanao
to surmount the current hurdle in the critical weeks ahead.

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

   

 

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