MANILA, May 29, 2013— The Sultanate of Sulu has described his latest meeting with the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as ‘strategic path’ to a peaceful end to Sabah crisis.
For the second time in two months, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III met with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, on Wednesday at the CBCP main headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.
Abraham Idjirani, Kiram’s spokesman, said the meeting, which lasted for around two hours, was a follow-up of their April 1 talks to resolve the territorial dispute that pits the Sultanate of Sulu and Malaysia.
“This meeting serves as strategic path to reach and achieve a complete resolution of the Sabah issue,” Idjirani said.
After this first meeting, Palma brought the case to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue for the resolution of the conflict.
According to Idjirani, Palma related to Kiram that there is a suggestion from the Vatican Council to organize a meeting between Archbishops Giuseppe Pinto, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines and Joseph Marino, Papal Nuncio to Malaysia.
“As per our understanding, the Nuncios of the Philippines and Malaysia must sit down together to really talk about the issue,” he said.
One of the initial steps to be taken, he added, is tackling the issue on the ‘religious” angle.
“If in a religious point of view, it is more on the humanitarian concerns of both Christians and Muslims. It may not move in the political aspect but in the humanitarian, it may move,” Idjirani said. (Roy Lagarde)