Manila, 6 August 2022 (TDI): US Secretary of state Antony J. Blinken met with the Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo at a virtual meeting.

The Foreign Secretary of the Philippines could not join physically due to being Covid positive. Both officials met to reaffirm their commitment to and chart the way forward for the Philippines-U.S. alliance.

They discussed a wide range of issues, focusing on sustaining the positive trajectory of relations between states.

Their exchanges involved strengthening the alliance and broadening cooperation in the economic sphere.

Both officials also addressed the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and other regional and global challenges.

Other Officials in the meeting

Other officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs Philippines were also present during the meeting.

Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, Consul General of Phillipines Embassy to Washington JV Chan-Gonzaga and legal Advisor of Phillipines Mission to UN Maria Angela Ponce were also there.

First Secretary of Philippines Mission to UN Noemi Diaz, Minister and Consul Gunther Emil Sales, Consul Hans Siriban, and First Secretary and Consul Katrina Isabelle Borja-Martin were also present.

Remarks of Secretary Blinken

US Secretary of State mentioned that the Philippines is an irreplaceable friend, partner, and ally to the United States.

The United States seeks to work closely with President Marcos, Secretary Manalo, and their colleagues to carry forward their alliance.

He further mentioned that food security is one of the two countries’ top priorities. The US wants to work to alleviate any short-term food insecurity and help continue to build the food production capacity of the Philippines.

US secretary also highlighted enhancing cooperation in private sector investment, public-private partnerships, and tackling leading 21st Century problems.

Both officials also discussed the security partnership between the states. US Secretary reiterated United States’ ironclad commitment to the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

He reaffirmed that an attack on the Philippines’ armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke US commitments under that treaty.