Manila: Troop withdrawal as soon as possible

In a sudden reversal of policy, the Philippines government tells Aljazeera it will withdraw its 'humanitarian contingent' from Iraq.

    Arroyo seems to have caved in to captors' demands

    Hoping to dissuade Filipino truck driver 

    Angelo de la Cruz's

    captors

    from executing him, and apparently meeting one of their key demands, the Philippines government has promised to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

    Philippines Deputy Foreign Minister Rafael Sequis read a statement on Aljazeera addressing the captors.

    "We are responding to your request and are to withdraw our humanitarian contingent in Iraq as soon as possible," Sequis said.

    Earlier, a purported Iraqi group

    calling itself the Khalid Ibn al-Walid Brigade threatened to behead de la Cruz by Tuesday unless Manila cave in to their demands for total troop withdrawal by 20 July.

    On Sunday, Philippines President Gloria Arroyo bluntly refused to succumb to their threat.
      
    "Our government's stand remains the same as we cannot change our commitment given to the international community," a senior Philippines diplomat in Baghdad said. 
      
    Family in Jordan

    Early on Monday, de la Cruz's wife and brother were en route to Jordan in a last-ditch bid to secure his release.
      
    Arsenia de la Cruz was to make a personal appeal for the freedom of her husband, a 46-year-old father of eight, who was seized last week as he drove a truckload of crude oil from neighbouring Saudi Arabia. 

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.