Thursday, May 05, 2005

Negotiating a Peace With Islamic Rebels.

HT: The Philippine Times points out this story from Reuters.

This story is a curious one.
The United States may increase development aid to the Philippines once it sees progress in the peace process with Muslim rebels in the south, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick said on Thursday.

My guess is quite a few are going to spin this story as trying to appease the enemy, the enemy being Islam. I strongly disagree with that sentiment. It is called a carrot and a stick. Abu Sayyaf is getting the stick and those groups willing to negotiate in good faith are getting carrots. If the MILF and MNLF are willing to negotiate in good faith then we have to encourage that. These two groups have shown in the past they are willing to talk things out.

The bigger part of the story is this note:
Zoellick said Washington continued to raise concerns about governance and transparency issues in the Philippines. He also asked Manila to revise its programmes to gain access to poverty alleviation funds under the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account.

Our government is quite right to be concerned about issues of governance and transparency in the Filipines. I have blogged quite a bit on this in the past and have nothing at the moment to add.