Manila, March 1, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo reaffirmed the strong ties and enduring alliance between the United States and the Philippines during his first visit to the Philippines as Secretary of State.
Secretary Pompeo met with President Rodrigo Duterte on February 28 to discuss the importance of the bilateral relationship and opportunities for greater cooperation on regional security and counterterrorism. The Secretary and President Duterte also exchanged views on ongoing efforts to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea.
On March 1, Secretary Pompeo met with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin, Jr., joined by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez. They discussed the friendship, partnership, and alliance between the United States and the Philippines as well as greater cooperation to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Secretary Locsin underscored the close bilateral partnership and its importance for maintaining regional security. “We shared the view that the alliance must be able to ensure the unfailing mutual defense of our two countries, an arrangement that has contributed to regional peace, freedom, stability, and prosperity since it was formalized,” he said.
Pompeo acknowledged the long history that the United States and the Philippines share and highlighted collaboration on counterterrorism, military engagements, and trade and investment. He explained, “The United States is proud to support the Philippines as a treaty ally and a true friend.”
During his visit, Secretary Pompeo also met with U.S. and Philippine business leaders, including Tessie Sy-Coson of SM Investments, Manny Pangalinan of Metro Pacific Investment Corporation, Dennis Uy of Udenna, Ambassador Jose Eduardo Antonio of Century Property Group, Aftab Ahmed of Citi, Jose Victor Emmanuel A. De Dios of GE, Lawrence Anthony Estrada of Bechtel, Aileen Judah-Jiao of IBM, Ariel Lacsamana of 3M, and American Chamber of Commerce Philippines Board Chairman James Wilkins of Fluor. The Secretary and business leaders discussed opportunities to grow the U.S.-Philippine economic relationship.
Before his departure, Secretary Pompeo addressed approximately 200 U.S. Embassy staff and families to thank them for their dedication to advancing the U.S.-Philippine bilateral relationship.