Statement on the Continuing Plight of Hostages in Southern Philippines

OIC Press Release

30 May 2000

Statement on the Continuing Plight of Hostages in Southern Philippines

The issue of abducting hostages from inside Malaysian territory last April and detaining them in Southern Philippines has gained the attention of the Meeting of the Senior Officials Preparatory to the 27th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, held in Jeddah on 27-30 May 2000. On this occasion the Meeting has been briefed on the initiatives taken by the Secretary General in this respect. It is to be noted that since the beginning of the abduction, the Secretary General has been exerting efforts aimed at releasing the hostages from the hold of their abductors.

In this context he has made several contacts with the Government of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), expressing the readiness of the OIC General Secretariat to send an envoy to the Philippines to help in saving the hostages as soon as possible and preserving their lives after their long ordeal.

The Secretary General has pointed out that this operation and the like are rejected by both positive and divine laws, and that they are neither the appropriate nor the correctly means to resolve conflicts.

The Secretary General appeals to the Government of the Philippines to exert its utmost in order to reach a peaceful solution to this humanitarian issue that would ensure the safety of the hostages and their honourable return to their countries as soon as possible.