PRRD’s meet­ing with Kim yields ‘closer’ ties with US

Sun.Star Davao - - TOP STORIES -

Manila - Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s “pri­vate” meet­ing with United States (US) Am­bas­sador Sung Kim at Mala­cañan Palace on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 12, has led to “closer” re­la­tions with Wash­ing­ton, Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Harry Roque Jr. said on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 13.

“We’ve al­ways had a good re­la­tion­ship with the United States. And I’m sure that ev­ery meet­ing be­tween the Pres­i­dent and the US am­bas­sador will re­sult in closer re­la­tions,” Roque told Palace re­porters.

Duterte met with Kim three weeks af­ter he chal­lenged the US to prove its will­ing­ness to en­ter into a pos­si­ble weapons pro­cure­ment deal with the Philip­pines.

The US, in a let­ter ad­dressed to Duterte, has ex­pressed open­ness to have a “fu­ture de­fense pro­cure­ment” with the Philip­pines, in a bid to “strengthen and deepen the stead­fast bonds” be­tween the two na­tions.

On Au­gust 23, Duterte said he would only be amenable to a pos­si­ble de­fense pro­cure­ment deal with the US if Wash­ing­ton is able to show “ut­ter good faith” in sell­ing weapons to the Philip­pine troops.

Roque said he had no fur­ther de­tails about the is­sues raised dur­ing the meet­ing be­tween Duterte and Kim.

In a Twit­ter post, Kim de­scribed his meet­ing with Duterte as “ex­cel­lent,” not­ing that the two na­tions agreed to main­tain “strong and iron­clad” re­la­tions.

“Ex­cel­lent meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Duterte to dis­cuss shared goals, in­clud­ing de­fense pri­or­i­ties and eco­nomic part­ner­ship. Our al­liance re­mains strong and iron­clad,” the US am­bas­sador to the Philip­pines said.

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