US to reaffirm ‘ironclad commitment’ to PH defense at Biden-Marcos meeting on May 1
The United States (US) is expected to reaffirm its “ironclad commitment” to its defense of the Philippines during a bilateral meeting between President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and US President Joe Biden at the White House on May 1.
According to the White House, other than defense the two world leaders will also discuss the economy, clean energy and more.
“During the visit, President Biden will reaffirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the defense of the Philippines, and the leaders will discuss efforts to strengthen the longstanding U.S.-Philippines alliance,” said the White House in a statement on Thursday (US time).
The White House said that Biden and Marcos will tackle regional matters and joint efforts to “uphold international law and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
“The two leaders will review opportunities to deepen economic cooperation and promote inclusive prosperity, expand our nations’ special people-to-people ties, invest in the clean energy transition and the fight against climate change, and ensure respect for human rights,” said the White House.
The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said that Marcos would be in Washington DC from April 30 to May 4.
Marcos is also expected to meet with key Cabinet officials in the US.
“The visit will reaffirm the bonds of friendship that give definition and significance to the many facets of the bilateral relationship, underpinned by the close affinity shared by Filipinos and Americans alike for many years,” said the PCO.
According to the PCO, the visit will also advance efforts to deepen relations and political ties.
Marcos is also eyeing partnerships in agriculture, energy, climate change, technology, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supply chains, and infrastructure.
“The United States is a major bilateral trade and official development assistance partner and maintains a shared commitment with the Philippines for more dynamic economic relations. The trip will highlight the steadfast commitment by both sides to be reliable and resilient allies and partners in times of crisis and prosperity amid a challenging global and regional environment,” said the PCO.
This is not the first time that the two presidents will meet. In September 2022, Biden and Marcos Jr. met during the United Nations 77th General Assembly.
This follows tensions amid the West Philippines Sea and controversial statements from Chinese Envoy Huang Xilian, who said that the Philippines is “stoking the fire” by allowing the US access to military bases near the Taiwan Strait.