Statement on the President’s Meeting with President Aquino of the Philippines
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Today, the President met with Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III in the Oval Office. The Philippines is a close friend and a key economic and security partner for the United States. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the bilateral relationship. The U.S.-Philippines partnership is based on our shared history, democratic values, and mutual interests. It is rooted in our bilateral alliance, which has contributed to the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region for over 60 years. Both leaders reaffirmed their mutual commitment to the peace and security of the region and to the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.
The Presidents reviewed recent progress made in enhancing bilateral cooperation since their previous meeting at the East Asia Summit in November. They welcomed the outcomes of the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue and the first ever “2+2” ministerial consultation in April, including the commitments on regional strategic issues, security and economic cooperation, and supporting the rule of law.
President Obama reaffirmed the U.S. Government’s support for Philippine efforts to build a minimum credible defense posture, as evidenced by our transfer of a second U.S. Coast Guard Cutter to the Philippine Navy, support for the Philippine National Coast Watch System, and the growing number of bilateral exercises and training programs.
The Presidents agreed to build on our successful security cooperation on counterterrorism by expanding efforts to enhance joint military capabilities and interoperability in humanitarian assistance, as well as in the areas of disaster relief, maritime security, and maritime domain awareness. President Obama recognized President Aquino’s commitment to peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and to ensuring a peaceful and prosperous future for Mindanao.
The leaders acknowledged the importance of a strong economic relationship to both sides, and committed to redouble efforts to bolster and deepen efforts to expand bilateral trade and promote greater trade and economic integration in the Asia Pacific. In particular, President Obama noted the positive trade dialogue taking place under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and the importance of expanding bilateral trade in key agricultural products of interest to both countries.
You can read the rest of this article at:: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/08/statement-president-s-meeting-president-aquino-philippines
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