GMA News Online

PHL seeks Iran’s help in gaining observer status at int'l Islamic body

September 18, 2012 10:07pm
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis has requested Iran’s support in the Philippines’ bid for observer status in the influential Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Seguis made the request when he was in Tehran over the weekend for a joint consular meeting with Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

The government’s bid for OIC observer status is being blocked by both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) for its perceived failure to address conflict and worsening poverty in Mindanao.

Both Islamic secessionist groups are seeking wider and effective implementation of the peace agreement signed in 1996 that created the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao.

The MNLF has been an OIC observer since 1977.  

At the meeting, Seguis also appealed for the transfer of Filipino prisoners from faraway provincial jails to Tehran to allow Philippine embassy officers to visit them frequently.

According to the DFA, Salehi responded positively to the said requests and told one of his assistants to see to it that Filipino inmates in the provinces are transferred to prisons near Tehran.

The two officials also discussed the issues the need to facilitate the conclusion of agreements that would address the concerns of Iranian students and prisoners in the Philippines as well as Filipino inmates in Iran. — BM, GMA News
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