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Philippines seeks Saudi aid for BARMM

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Saudi Arabian government has been asked to provide assistance to the newly created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

Development efforts in the BARMM were among the topics discussed when Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje paid a courtesy call on Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud in Riyadh on Monday. 

“With the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Borje asked the Saudi Arabian government to extend assistance for the development of the region,” a Malacañang statement issued yesterday said.  

“Under President Duterte’s Build Build Build program, Saudi Arabian companies could invest in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao,“ the statement said. 

Saudi Arabia has expressed readiness to contribute to the development of the BARMM, it added.

“Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia is pleased with the progress of the Mindanao peace efforts and expressed the kingdom’s willingness to help. He assured the Philippine official that Saudi Arabia would contribute to BARMM’s development,” the statement read. 

Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi–Tawi, Marawi, Lamitan, Cotabato City and 63 barangays in six North Cotabato towns comprise the BARMM. It replaced the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. 

The Philippines and Saudi Arabia, which are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their bilateral relations this year, also vowed to strengthen their ties.

Malacañang said Borje relayed President Duterte’s gratitude to Saudi Arabia for ensuring the welfare of more than 550,000 Filipino workers in the kingdom.

Borje also conveyed Duterte’s invitation to Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to visit the Philippines.

BANGSAMORO AUTONOMOUS REGION BARMM FAISAL BIN FARHAN ROBERT BORJE
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