U.S., PH acknowledge ‘challenges’ to stability in East Asia

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario and Secretary of State John F. Kerry

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario and Secretary of State John F. Kerry

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario and Secretary of State John F. Kerry met for the first time on April 2, acknowledging “challenges to peace and stability in East Asia.”

The officials stressed how their governments would “work together to prevent conflict and resolve matters peacefully and in accordance with international law.”

“We agreed that as strategic partners, it is important for both our nations to further deepen our relations on all levels. We agreed that our long shared history and profound common values serve as a firm basis for this,” Del Rosario said after emerging from his meeting with Kerry at the Department of State.

On the West Philippine Sea issue, Kerry gave his support for the efforts of the Philippines to resolve the conflicting claims through the rule of law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He said the Philippine move to bring the West Philippine Sea issue to arbitration has the “full support” of the U.S.

“Our ability to deter threats or provocation is an important part of this cooperation. In this context, we discussed our joint efforts to build the capacity of the Philippines to defend its territory and people,” Del Rosario stated.

“We also reiterated our agreement that our defense and security cooperation extends to facing other threats in the region, including natural disasters. We will continue to cooperate in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” the Secretary emphasized.

During the meeting, Kerry emphasized his personal closeness to the Philippines and his determination to further enhance bilateral relations.

“Secretary Kerry was part of the election monitoring team headed by Senator Richard Lugar in 1986. Since then he has always had a keen interest in our country and our democracy,” Del Rosario said.

With Del Rosario during the meeting were Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Carlos D. Sorreta; Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Andrelita S. Austria; and Executive Director Rosalita S. Prospero of the Office of American Affairs.



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