Prime Minister Najib Razak has welcomed the representatives of the Philippine government peace panel, led by Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, at Malaysia’s seat of government in Putrajaya.
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar described the meeting as formal yet cordial.
“The Prime Minister discussed the enormous potential of Mindanao and vowed to work with President Duterte, who hails from Mindanao, to deliver the island’s economic promise,” said Andanar in a press statement to Palace reporters.
“The whole mindset has changed with more than half of the members of the Cabinet coming from Mindanao,” Andanar quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
Andanar added, “Secretary Dureza asked to rejuvenate the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) to open and further the trade between the Philippines and Malaysia.”
During the 30-minute meeting with the GPH peace panel, PM Razak likewise expressed his grave concern about the stability and security in the region, particularly referring to the kidnapping incidents committed by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group who pledge allegiance to the jihadist militant group ISIS.
Security is a shared concern between the two countries and Malaysia’s Prime Minister is proposing the regulation of sealanes, wherein a certain approved sealane can be used to conduct trade and those that are not approved can be deemed as hostile.
On the part of the Philippines, Secretary Dureza said the reason behind President Duterte’s recent visit to Sulu is to order the military to put a final stop to the Abu Sayyaf Group.
“Secretary Dureza assured Prime Minister Najib that the same iron hand will be activated to deal with borders,” said Andanar.
Related to this, Secretary Dureza mentioned the successful launching of the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in Malaysia.
“Secretary Dureza told the Prime Minister that both panels will meet in Davao and reconstitute the commission at the end of August,” Andanar said.