Secretary Del Rosario, Secretary Kerry Highlight Acceleration of PHL-US Relations
Secretary del Rosario thanked the US for the immediate and generous assistance provided by the United States in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda and the US commitment to support rebuilding efforts in affected areas.
The two foreign ministers also talked about bolstering the PHL-US security cooperation during the bilateral meeting.
Secretary del Rosario said, “Secretary Kerry and I discussed ways to bolster our enduring alliance, particularly through a mutually beneficial Framework Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation and Rotational Presence that our two governments are working on.”
The Philippines’ top diplomat highlighted the recent grant of USD40 million from the United States to the Philippines over three years under the US Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF). The GSCF will enhance Philippine law enforcement capabilities in securing maritime borders and combating terrorism.
Regional issues such as the West Philippine Sea and East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) were discussed. The two secretaries agreed on the primacy of the rule of law in the region and the respect for the freedom of navigation.
“Relations between our two countries are deeply rooted in our shared history. It is built on our common democratic aspirations and mutual concerns,” Secretary del Rosario said.
The Philippines’ foreign affairs chief recalled the Filipinos and Americans who fought side by side during World War II. “I welcome the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation in the restoration, operation and maintenance of Clark Veterans Cemetery to help ensure that veterans interred there receive the respect and honor they deserve.”
On economic relations, Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Kerry discussed measures to expand and increase PHL-US economic and trade cooperation. “We agreed to continue consultations on the Transpacific Partnership and other issues covered under our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.”
The progress of the implementation of the Millennium Challenge Compact and the Partnership for Growth was also discussed during the bilateral meeting.
The Philippines and the US have been long-standing economic partners committed to good governance, inclusive growth and poverty alleviation.
“I am confident that our meeting today has brought us even closer to our vision of a modern, mature, and forward looking Philippines-United States relations,” said Secretary del Rosario.
The US Secretary of State is visiting the Philippines from December 17 to 18 to meet the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the President and discuss ways to further strengthen Philippines-US cooperation. Secretary Kerry is also set to visit Tacloban to meet people affected by Typhoon Yolanda as well as those involved in the relief effort. END