Philippines government: Obama April visit to boost alliance — US President Barack Obama’s upcoming April visit to the Philippines is expected to boost the long-time treaty alliance between the two nations, says Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.
Del Rosario called the alliance with the US “our deepest bilateral engagement,”, and said Obama’s first visit to the Philippines would underscore the strong ties between the allies.
The Philippines is counting on US support as it faces provocations from China in the disputed South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
“President Barack Obama’s visit reaffirms the enduring treaty alliance and the strategic and economic partnership between the Philippines and the United States,” the foreign secretary said in a text to the Inquirer.
“Our bilateral cooperation covers many key areas, including defense, trade, investment, tourism, development and humanitarian assistance and people-to-people ties, all of which reflect the fact that it is with the US that we maintain our deepest bilateral engagement,” said Del Rosario, who is formerly the ambassador to Washington.
Obama’s scheduled visit in October of last year was postponed due to the US government shutdown.
His scheduled visit to Manila in April is the final stop in a four-nation tour through the Asia-Pacific region which will also include stops in Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. The exact dates have yet to be set.
Obama will hold talks with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the two nations’ wide-ranging relations, focusing on the areas of defense and economic ties.
“The meeting will be between the presidents of two democratic nations, representing peoples that share common values—democracy, freedom, liberty—and peoples who have a history of shared sacrifice for these values,” said Del Rosario.