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US vows to help fight terrorism

(FILES) This file photo taken on October 9, 2015 shows Philippine marines (in green) and their US counterparts (in light brown) after simulating an assault during the annual Philippines-US amphibious landing exercise (PHIBLEX) at the navy base facing the South China Sea in San Antonio, Zambales province, north of Manila. US and Philippine troops launched on October 2, 2017 new joint counter-terrorism exercises days after President Rodrigo Duterte, a fierce critic of Washington, reversed course in favour of pursuing one of Asia's oldest military alliances. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

The United States vowed to continue to support the Philippines’ fight against terrorism and the rehabilitation of Marawi City while stressing the importance of upholding the rule of law and human rights.

This was discussed at the annual bilateral strategic dialogue between the Philippines and the United States held in Washington  from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.

In a joint statement issued on Dec. 2, both sides said they affirmed their commitment to deepen collaboration in maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, cybersecurity, antidrug trafficking, counterterrorism, and drug prevention and treatment services.

Senior officials from both sides also pledged to continue to work together to eliminate human trafficking and combat wildlife trafficking and illegal fishing.

“The US and Philippine delegations emphasized the importance of the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms,” read their joint statement.

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