US Embassy backs safe conduct pass in Zamboanga

Posted at Sep 16 2013 12:03 PM | Updated as of Sep 16 2013 08:03 PM

Watch more in iWantTFC

MANILA - The US Embassy expressed support for a safe conduct pass that will allow civilians trapped by the fighting in Zamboanga City to leave the conflict zone.

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. called on both sides to try to reach an agreement to end the standoff as soon as possible.

"I join... in calling for a humanitarian corridor to allow the safe passage of civilians who are being held by MNLF insurgents in Zamboanga and those caught in the crossfire between the MNLF and Philippine forces.... [A]ll sides must respect and protect the civilian population and avoid unnecessary suffering by reaching an agreement to end the standoff as quickly as possible," he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the United States has set aside 27 million dollars to provide assistance to the thousands affected by the fighting.

"We fully support the ongoing peace process in Mindanao and hope the parties will continue to avoid violence as they work toward a final enduring resolution that will benefit all the people of the Philippines."

The US Embassy also reiterated its support for the ongoing peace process and called on the government and Misuari-MNLF group to avoid further violence.

ANC, September 16, 2013