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Sunday, October 7, 2012

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON COMMENTS ON PHILIPPINE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT REGARDING MILF

FROM: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

Finalization of the Philippines - Moro Islamic Liberation Front Framework Agreement
Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DC
October 7, 2012

The United States welcomes the announcement of the framework agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. This agreement is a testament to the commitment of all sides for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the southern Philippines. The next steps will be to ensure that the framework agreement is fully implemented. We encourage all parties to work together to build peace, prosperity and greater opportunities for all the people of the Philippines.

MORE INFORMATION FROM U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

U.S.-PHILIPPINES RELATIONS
The United States recognized the Philippines as an independent state and established diplomatic relations with it in 1946. Except for the 1942-45 Japanese occupation during World War II, the Philippines had been under U.S. sovereignty since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898.

U.S.-Philippine relations are based on strong historical and cultural links and a commitment to democracy and human rights. The United States has designated the Philippines as a Major Non-NATO Ally, and there are close and abiding security ties between the two nations. The Manila Declaration signed in 2011 reaffirmed the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty as the foundation for a robust, balanced, and responsive security partnership. There is also a focus on economic, commercial, and people-to-people ties. There are an estimated four million Americans of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and more than 300,000 U.S. citizens in the Philippines. An estimated 600,000 Americans visit the Philippines each year. Many people-to-people programs exist between the United States and the Philippines, including Fulbright, International Visitors, and Aquino Fellowship exchange programs.

FROM: CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

The Philippine Government faces threats from several groups, some of which are on the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Manila has waged a decades-long struggle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern Philippines, which has led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and on-again/off-again peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People's Army insurgency also operates through much of the country. The Philippines faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea.