Biden’s phone call shows US looking forward to working with Marcos — US official | Global News
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Biden’s phone call shows US looking forward to working with Marcos — US official

/ 01:16 PM May 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — A United States (US) official said that President Joe Biden’s call to congratulate presumptive Philippine president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos was indicative that the global superpower is looking forward to working with the latter.

In a teleconference interview with Southeast Asia-based reporters on Tuesday, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink said the phone call between the two showed a desire to strengthen ties between the Philippines and the US, along with expanding cooperation on certain issues.

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“The phone call […] that President Biden placed to president-elect Marcos, of course in which the president (Biden) underscored he looks forward to working with the president-elect to continue strengthening our alliance, expanding our cooperation on a broad range of issues,” Kritenbrink said.

“So I think between Edgard’s comments and of course the president’s call, I think you could see that we’re very much looking forward (to working) with the new president-elect once he is inaugurated to further strengthen our alliance,” he added, referring to Senior Director for East Asia and Oceania on the National Security Council (NSC) Edgard Kagan who spoke before him.

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After the partial and unofficial tally from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday night to Tuesday morning indicated a Marcos win, many other state leaders and foreign dignitaries congratulated the presidential candidate.  US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that they eye stronger ties between the two countries after Marcos gets elected.

Eventually, it was revealed that Biden called Marcos in an attempt to ensure that relations would even get better under a Marcos presidency.

Kagan for his part said he is being careful in terms of talking about Marcos because he has not been proclaimed, and a president — President Rodrigo Duterte — is still at the helm.

Still, he hopes that bilateral relations between the two long-term allies would be strengthened to allow the countries to work closely in the context of US-Asean efforts.

“I think that — I wanna be cautious, I think we recognize that you know, there is only one president at a time, the inauguration has not yet taken place, I wanna be cautious about saying anything,” Kagan said.

“I think our desire is to continue strengthening our bilateral relationship, we very much believe that it is in keeping with strengthening our bilateral relationship to work more closely in the context of Asean.  I think that our belief is that you know Asean offers a number of avenues for countries in the region to work together, to advance common interests,” he added.

Marcos currently leads in the partial and unofficial tally from the Comelec transparency server, getting over 31.09 million votes.  This is way ahead of his closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, who only managed to get 14.81 million votes.

READ: Marcos, Duterte head for landslide win

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TAGS: 2022 national elections, Edgard Kagan, former senator Bongbong Marcos, Indo-Pacific region, NSC, Philippine news updates, President Rodrigo Duterte, Senior Director for East Asia and Oceania on the National Security Council, US President Joe Biden
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