MANILA - Malaysia wants to do more to help resolve armed conflicts in the region ahead of the setting up of the ASEAN Community at the end of 2015, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister cited Malaysia's success in helping the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) reach a politically negotiated agreement to end the armed insurgency in Mindanao.
"When ASEAN becomes a community, we must help to end any conflicts in the region and spare no effort to seek a political settlement to the conflicts," he told Malaysian journalists before departing for Kuala Lumpur after witnessing the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) here yesterday.
"This is so that when ASEAN becomes a community, it will genuinely portray our region as being an area that is peaceful as well as developing," he added.
Najib said with the CAB, Malaysia had received recognition as a country that not only loved peace but one that was willing to play an active role in achieving it.
The Prime Minister said the CAB was significant not only to regional stability but would also benefit Malaysia, Sabah in particular.
"The people in Sabah will be able to enjoy the fruits of a more peaceful southern Philippines and the increased economic growth in this region will also bring a positive impact to the state," he added.
Najib pledged that Malaysia would continue to contribute to the peace effort by remaining as facilitator and member of the International Monitoring Team, adding that Malaysia was also willing to offer assistance to develop training institutes and provide economic opportunities in southern Philippines.