Duterte taps Misuari as Special Economic Envoy to Islamic body

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President Rodrigo Duterte has tapped Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari as the country’s special economic envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a 57-man inter-government organization that serves as the collective voice of the Muslim communities in the world.

Misuari’s appointment was announced when Duterte presided over the first meeting of the newly-established government-MNLF Peace Coordinating Committee at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) said in a statement.

“In order to accelerate the implementation of the peace agreements and to develop further the support of the Islamic countries, President Duterte announced the appointment of Misuari as Special Economic Envoy on Islamic Affairs to the OIC,” the OPAPP said.

Duterte and Misuari have met several times this year to improve the partnership between the national government and the MNLF in achieving sustainable peace in Mindanao.

During a meeting at Malacañan on Nov. 11, Duterte and Misuari both agreed to create a peace coordinating committee between the two parties which will serve as a platform to strengthen the peace process in the besieged region.

Duterte, as quoted by the OPAPP, believed in Misuari’s competence to bolster the Philippines’ relations with other Islamic nations.

“Brother Nur has occupied several positions in the past. Considered it as an honor for me to delegate you as a special envoy of the government so that you can foster further lasting relationships with the leaders of the Islamic countries,” the President told Misuari during the meeting in Davao City on Friday.

“Most of the leaders of the OIC are friends of Nur. It’s good that Allah has given you a longer life to see these things because I do not think that there is other Moro personality that could command the respect and trust of the OIC but only you. You are the only one who can bring the case to the OIC and get the results,” he added.

Misuari, in turn, thanked the President for his new appointment.

Following his appointment, The MNLF leader is poised to attend the annual meeting of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC member-states in Burkina Faso in Western Africa from Jan. 21 to 23 next year, the OPAPP announced.

“This developed as the leadership of the OIC is set to visit the Philippines in February 2020,” it said.

“The involvement of the influential OIC will play a crucial role in pushing forward the implementation of the peace agreements between the government and the Moro fronts. For years, the OIC has been actively involved in the Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum to harmonize all the Moro fronts in the Philippines and integrate all the development plans to foster long-lasting and enduring peace in Mindanao,” it added. PNA.GOV.PH