Tag Archives: Peace process

Hamas Urges Obama Talk With Them

Exiled Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk said President Barack Obama must enter into dialogue with their organization before it would even renounce violence– a key demand of the United States. Marzouk claimed his organization was the real representative of the Palestinian people which thus made it impossible to have any discussions without their presence. “They know that without Hamas their efforts will not succeed. In his Cairo speech, the president challenged Palestinian leaders to renounce violence and accept the reality of the Israel government.

Hamas is undoubtedly an important cog in any process that would lead to peace, but it falls into the trap of too many Israeli and Palestinian leaders who want the United States to somehow negotiate a peace between rival organizations. Hamas has the power to, at least, say it will renounce violence during a peace process while retaining the right to return to violence if the effort collapses. The ultimate decision for peace resides in the hands of Israelis and Palestinians, not Americans.

Philippine Government Dissolves Peace Process

The Philippine government over the past few years has been attempting to negotiate with Muslim insurgents in an effort to resolve problems with its Islamic citizens. President Gloria Arroyo announced yesterday she was dissolving the government peace panel which has been seeking to end the Muslim rebellion in southern Mindanao. Filipino officials made clear the president was ending negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front(MLF). “the president has ordered that the government peace panel for talks with the MLF be dissolved.” The MLF assumes ending the peace panel means the government will now focus on military action in order to achieve its goals of controlling Mindanao.

A key issue in the decision to dissolve the peace panel centers around an earlier agreement President Arroyo signed that would have turned control of Muslim areas over to the MLF. Some MLF forces attacked troops and killed about 100 which has infuriated the nation. It is still uncertain whether the president is merely using the time period to send more troops into the area or whether there will be a redesigned effort for peaceful negotiations. A major complaint has been failure on the part of Arroyo to involve local leaders and members of the Philippine legislature in the entire peace process.