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Saudi prince promises fund aid for Mindanao

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 [ sunstar.com.ph ]
By Malu Cadelina Manar


KIDAPAWAN CITY -- If peace would reign in Mindanao, millions of funds from Arab countries will pour into the region, especially in areas dominated by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), according to its chair Professor Nur Misuari.

One of the Arab countries that promised financial support for troubled Mindanao is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said Misuari.

Misuari told his supporters during the first Moro-Lumad national peace summit held here last Saturday that the prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has promised to shell out some $200 million (P9 billion) "only if we can have peace in Mindanao."

Misuari said the prince has made the promise when he visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia two weeks ago.

The prince was also present in Uganda in East Africa during the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Foreign Ministers meeting. The MNLF is an observer in the OIC meeting.

"The MNLF is still the sole representative of the Bangsamoro in the OIC. And for many years, the MNLF has been in pursuit of peace in this region, not only for the Muslims, but also for the lumads and Christians," he said.

"The prince promised to give $200 million under the discretion for MNLF if we can have peace," he told his supporters.

For Misuari, peace is the only precious legacy he can give to today's children and the next generation.

If peace reigns, development comes in, he explained.

"This progress will benefit all of us, including the lumads and the Christians from Mindanao," he said.

He also cited the need to develop Liguasan Marsh, one of Southern Mindanao's natural resources and where there is possible gas deposit.

"According to the American engineers I've talked with, the marsh has potential (gas deposit) worth $580 billion. If the marsh would be developed, this region will be one of the richest in the world," he said.

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