Gadhafi's son to visit Philippines to help unify Muslims

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's son will try to unify two Muslim groups during a visit to the Philippines this week amid optimism that a comprehensive peace accord could be signed soon, officials and Muslims said Tuesday.

Gadhafi's son to visit Philippines to help unify Muslims

Seif el-Islam Gadhafi, the president of the Gadhafi International Foundation for Charity Associations, will arrive Wednesday for meetings with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front — which is negotiating peace with the government — and its predecessor, the Moro National Liberation Front.

He is also scheduled to meet with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Philippine Foreign Affairs Department said.

Libya supported Muslims in the southern Philippines in the early 1970s, then in 1976 it brokered a historic peace accord with the main Muslim group, the MNFL, that was not concluded until 1996.

Some of the fighters not happy with the unfulfilled promises of autonomy for minority Muslims broke away, and in 1984 launched the MILF, which continued the struggle.

The government and the MILF signed a cease-fire in 2003 and recently broke an impasse over boundaries of a future Muslim homeland, paving the way for a resumption of formal talks next year.

Gadhafi's charity group has funded several projects in Mindanao, and the Libyan government maintains a tiny contingent within an international group of cease-fire monitors in the south.

Libya also played a key role in winning the release of Western tourists seized by the Muslim group Abu Sayyaf from a Malaysian resort and brought to the southern Philippines in 2000. Libya reportedly paid millions of dollars (euros) in ransom for the hostages.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Aralık 2007, 18:15