Duterte, Pompeo discuss reg’l security, counterterrorism

Duterte, Pompeo discuss reg’l security, counterterrorism

POMPEO VISITS PH. President Rodrigo R. Duterte introduces the members of his Cabinet to United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo during their meeting at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on February 28, 2019. (Valerie Escalera/Presidential Photo)
MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte and United States Department of State chief Michael Pompeo met on Thursday night and discussed various topics of mutual interest, particularly on security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

“They reaffirmed the long-standing US-Philippines alliance, discussing ways to improve cooperation on regional security and counterterrorism,” State Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a statement.

“The Secretary and President Duterte also exchanged views on ongoing efforts to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea,” he added.

Pompeo arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City at 8:36 p.m. on Thursday and was welcomed by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and Senior Bureau Official for the US Department of State Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs W. Patrick Murphy.

Pompeo met with Duterte shortly after at the Kalayaan Lounge at Villamor Air Base.

On Friday morning, Pompeo will join Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. for a bilateral meeting. During his visit, the US official will also engage with Philippine business leaders about opportunities for increasing the two nations’ robust economic partnership, the US Embassy in Manila said.

According to the Embassy, Pompeo’s first official visit to the country “underscores the US commitment to deepening” its economic relationship and security cooperation with the Philippines.

Pompeo traveled to Manila from Hanoi, Vietnam, where he participated in President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as well as bilateral meetings with Vietnamese leaders. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora /PNA-northboundasia.com