Meeting with Kerry fruitful, strengthens US-PHL ties, says Aquino

Friday, December 20th, 2013. Filed under: Philippine News
President Benigno S. Aquino III and United States Secretary of State John Kerry, lead the ceremonial toasts during the Dinner at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (December 17, 2013). The visit to the Philippines is his first visit as Secretary of State. During his visit, the topics that are expected to be discussed are the broadening of economic and security cooperation of the Philippines and U.S. as well as strengthening of people-to-people ties. Humanitarian assistance and disaster response and cooperation on regional issues are also expected to be part of the agenda. In addition, Secretary Kerry will visit Tacloban City to meet people affected by Typhoon Yolanda as well as those involved in the relief effort. (MNS Photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III and United States Secretary of State John Kerry, lead the ceremonial toasts during the Dinner at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (December 17, 2013). The visit to the Philippines is his first visit as Secretary of State. During his visit, the topics that are expected to be discussed are the broadening of economic and security cooperation of the Philippines and U.S. as well as strengthening of people-to-people ties. Humanitarian assistance and disaster response and cooperation on regional issues are also expected to be part of the agenda. In addition, Secretary Kerry will visit Tacloban City to meet people affected by Typhoon Yolanda as well as those involved in the relief effort. (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III said he had a productive meeting in Malacanang with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry who arrived in the country Tuesday.

In his message during a dinner hosted for Kerry, the President said he appreciated the readiness of the US government to aid the Philippines in times of distress especially after the onslaught of Typhoon “Yolanda” last month.

“We also appreciate the fact that Secretary Kerry is here with the full authority of the President of the United States to discuss matters that will contribute to further strengthening the strategic partnership our nations share,” he said.

“Our conversation today was therefore not only pleasant, but also extremely productive, and it leaves me optimistic that, moving forward, the historic friendship between our countries will only grow deeper and more meaningful.”

The US assistance after the typhoon’s devastation is a representation of the friendship that the two countries have, he said.

The US government augmented the Philippine government’s humanitarian response efforts, by generously providing relief goods and much needed aid, the President said.

The presence of the US in relief efforts reminds the country of a time in its history when Filipinos and Americans stood in solidarity for an important cause such as when American and Filipino soldiers fought shoulder-to-shoulder during World War II.

The President also expressed his gratitude to the US government for strongly supporting the rule of law in moving towards the peaceful resolution of tensions in the Asian region.

Kerry also has personal connection with the Philippines, being part of the US observer delegation during the Snap Elections in 1986, President Aquino said.

The US official advocated democracy and reform and spoke out against the massive and blatant cheating by the Marcos dictatorship, he added.

Kerry arrived in the Philippines Tuesday for a two-day visit. He is scheduled today to go to Tacloban City to personally see the ongoing rehabilitation efforts there and assess if the US government needs to commit additional assistance to the Philippines. (MNS)

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