Philippine president in Turkey insists on OIC observer status

Turkey's President Gul had a meeting with Philippine's Arroyo at the Cankaya Presidential Palace.

Philippine president in Turkey insists on OIC observer status

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish and Filipino president met in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Wednesday, state-run news agency said.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul had a meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines at the Cankaya Presidential Palace.

Arroyo is actually paying a working visit to Turkey, Anadolu Agency said.

The two president exchanged views on boosting friendship and cooperation between the two countries, and issues concerning the two countries.

During the meeting, Arroyo expressed her country's willingness to become an observer to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and asked for Gul's support.

In The OIC 36th meeting of foreign ministers, held in Damascus, Turkey led the group of countries which opposed the Philippine bid for observer status. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Yemen strongly supported the Turkey's position.

Arroyo's working visit is important for it is taking place on the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Philippines.

The Philippines, an archipelagic country located in the western Pacific Ocean, has a population of 90 million people. The population of Muslims is about 12 million. Between the years 1450 and 1515, two Islamic principalities were founded on the islands of Sulu and Mindanao. Islam came to the Philippines in the 13th century 200 years before Christianity did.

After four decades of armed conflict between the Filipino state and the Moro Muslims, the two parties agreed to sign an agreement that would end the conflict. However, the supreme court of the Philippine declared the agreement illegal on August 4, which caused the conflict to resume. The biggest new internal displacement of people last year was in Muslim region in Philippine, where 600,000 fled fighting with government and MILF in Muslim region, a United Nations-backed report said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Eylül 2009, 16:57