US envoy sees more projects in Sulu
Editor: Ed General, PDI Mindanao Bureau  
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, April 28, 2006  
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JOLO, SULU - US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney gave hints about her government's plan to maintain a long-term presence in Sulu.

"This is the place where we really focus on peace, on development, we have a lot of work to do, like health issues, educational issues," Kenney, who arrived on Wednesday, said.

It was Kenney's first visit to the province, considered one of the lairs of the Abu Sayyaf.

 

The Abu Sayyaf, which passes itself as an Islamist armed movement, is in Washington's target list of priority terror organizations.

 

US soldiers have been busy building development projects here in a bid to stamp out local support for the bandit group. Kenney said the presence of American soldiers was helping efforts to bring back peace of the province.

 

"(They) are working with the AFP and the people of Sulu, they are here to advise, to help bring peace and they are doing a lot (of other things)," she said.

 

"Not only that their presence is good in Sulu, but I think it's fabulous. Most of them have fallen in love with Sulu, with the residents here. They love being here and they are the ones who have been talking to me about great things going on here in Sulu," she added.

Kenney said the US government would also like to help train doctors to provide the people of Sulu access to regular medical services.

 

Among the projects that the US government wanted to pursue is the teaching of the English language.