DFA: PH-US relations remain robust, active
The ties between the Philippines and its longtime ally the United States remained “robust and very active” despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s recalibrated foreign policy and a so-called pivot to China, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
“Our relationship with the US remains very robust and active,” said acting DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo in a televised forum on Tuesday, which circled on the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit and developments in the South China Sea.
“The US should continue to be positively engaged in the (Southeast Asian) region. We hope US would promote greater security cooperation,” he added.
The 30th Asean summit will be held in the country from April 26 to 29 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay City.
Manalo also said that Asean ministers were looking forward to a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, adding that the Philippines continues to enhance its relationship with the US both in the bilateral and regional levels.
“We are in touch with the United States in various levels. I think the opportunity for us here is to increase the discussion with US officials,” Manalo said. “The key is managing tensions while improving relations. Our goal is to make our region prosperous.”
Duterte has forged an “independent” foreign policy that veered away from Washington and inclined toward Beijing amid criticisms to his war on drugs. The US is the Philippines lone defense treaty ally. IDL
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