Statement by Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg on the Signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
I had the honor this evening of joining President Aquino, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib, and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leaders and negotiators, as well as my fellow Ambassadors in Manila, to witness the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). For decades armed conflict in Mindanao has robbed families and innocent people of security and economic opportunity. Many have lost lives and loved ones. As Secretary Kerry noted in his congratulatory statement in January, this agreement offers a promise of peace, security, and economic prosperity now and for future generations in Mindanao. With the signing of the CAB, we encourage both sides to seize this opportunity and commit to its full implementation. The road to peace can be long and difficult. Success requires high-level attention, commitment from both sides, international support, and inclusion of all those who have a stake in a lasting peace. The United States will continue to be a major development partner in Mindanao and in an effort to help bring about a successful outcome. We believe the CAB can benefit the people of Bangsamoro, and all Filipino citizens.