Tillerson: US stands with Philippines in fight vs terror
The United States will continue to honor its alliance with the Philippines which was built on “shared democratic values, growing commerce and strong people-to-people ties,” US state secretary Rex Tillerson said on Monday.
Tillerson said in a statement on Independence Day that the Trump administration was one with the Philippine government in ending terrorism and extremism.
“The United States proudly stands with the Philippines as a longstanding ally, especially as the country confronts challenges associated with terrorism and extremism, including recent attacks in Marawi and elsewhere,” Tillerson said in a statement on Philippines’ Independence Day.
“We admire the resilience and strength of Filipino people in battling adversity and building a more prosperous and secure future,” he added.
Echoing Tillerson’s statement, US ambassador Sung Kim said the United States would continue to assist the Philippines “with the knowledge” of the government and the armed forces.
“I think we’ve already indicated that we have continued to provide counterterrorism support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and that that effort continues,” Kim told reporters after the Independence Day rites at Rizal Park in Manila.
“I don’t think it would be appropriate to go into technical details of what we’re providing but I do think it’s important to note that this cooperation has continued,” Kim said.
“This is a cooperation that has continued for some time now. It’s a cooperation that’s appreciated by the Philippines’ military. It’s a cooperation that has continued with the knowledge of the Philippines’ government,” he added.
Kim made this statement after President Duterte said he was initially unaware the United States was providing assistance to Filipino soldiers in Marawi City.
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