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US defense chief arrives in PH, to meet with Duterte

/ 07:05 PM July 29, 2021
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrives in the Philippines Thursday, July 29. Photo from the US Embassy in Manila

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrives in the Philippines Thursday, July 29. Photo from the US Embassy in Manila

MANILA, Philippines — US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived in the Philippines on Thursday and is set to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte to “discuss avenues to further strengthen” Manila and Washington’s security cooperation.

Austin, who disembarked from the plane wearing a face shield — which is mandatory in the Philippines, was welcomed by US Embassy chargé d’affaires John Law with a fist bump.

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“Sec. Austin will meet with Pres. Duterte and other government partners to discuss avenues to further strengthen US-Philippine security cooperation,” the US Embassy said in a tweet welcoming the defense secretary.

Austin will meet with his Philippine counterpart, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Friday morning, July 30.

He is also scheduled to meet with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. Friday afternoon to discuss mutual security concerns.

RELATED STORY: Another joke? Duterte mulls return of Balangiga bells to keep US away

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TAGS: Defense, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, Security Cooperation, US Embassy in the Philippines, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
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