Photos released by the Sulu Provincial Government show US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., being welcomed by employees at the Capitol site in the southern Philippines on Tuesday, March 23, 2011. And Governor Sakur Tan offering Thomas a rice cake. Thomas pledges to support peace and development efforts in Sulu, one of five provinces undef the Muslim autonomous region. (Text: Mindanao Examiner)
SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 22, 2011) – US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. visited Tuesday Sulu and Basilan provinces in the southern Philippines and pledged more support to the government’s peace and development efforts there.
Thomas, accompanied by Gloria Steele, the Philippines Mission Director of the US Agency for International Development Philippines, and American military officials, met with Governor Sakur Tan and other local government leaders.
In his statement, Thomas paid tribute to the governor for “being a gracious host and hope that the people of the United States will continue to work together with the people of Sulu to bring about development and peace in the province.”
Tan, for his part, expressed the appreciation of the provincial government and the people of Sulu for the support and assistance the American people had extended in various community projects in the province.
Thomas also flew to Basilan province where he met with Governor Jum Akbar.
Thomas first visited Zamboanga City on Monday before heading to Sulu and Basilan where he inspected US-funded projects. He also signed a $1.3 million grant in support of the Literacy for Peace and Development Program for adults in the Sulu Archipelago.
The US through its various agencies, has supported and funded many infrastructure projects in Sulu province where American troops are deployed since 2006. US forces are also stationed in Zamboanga City and Basilan, and others parts of Mindanao since 2001 to help train local troops in fighting terrorism. (Mindanao Examiner)