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Duterte to seek Middle East leaders’ help in attaining Mindanao peace

/ 04:17 PM April 10, 2017

DAVAO CITY – President Duterte has said he will seek the support of Middle East heads of state for a lasting peace in Mindanao.

“I will seek their support for our efforts to bring just and lasting peace in Mindanao,” the President said in his pre-departure speech at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport here on Monday (Apr. 10.)

President Duterte said he would particularly seek the support of the leaders of countries he would visit in his Middle East tour.

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“I also look forward to exchanging views with them on regional security issues, promoting intercultural dialogue and the Philippines’ efforts at community building in ASEAN,” he said.

The President will first visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he will meet with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

“It will be an important and valuable opportunity to reaffirm a lasting friendship and to seek ways of further broadening cooperation, particularly in politico-security and defense, trade and investments, anti-narcotics, labor, energy, education and culture,” he said.

Mr. Duterte will also go to Bahrain to meet with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

“I shall seek to expand the frontiers of friendship and tap into converging interests in order to intensity two-way trade and investments, seek greater politico-security cooperation and increase exchanges,” he said.

He will also visit Doha, Qatar.

“There is much at stake in the Philippines’ relations with the Middle East: It is the global center of traditional energy resources; It is a source of investments with potential for much growth; It is an expanding market for key Philippine products and services; and, it is home to the largest group of Filipinos working overseas,” the President said.

Mr. Duterte is also scheduled to meet with members of the Filipino communities in the Middle East.  SFM

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