FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. met with US State Secretary Michael Pompeo on December 20, as both sought ways to increase the cooperation between the Philippines and the United States in the areas of energy and people-to-people exchanges.
The meeting, held in Washington, D.C., was a follow-up to the two foreign ministers’ phone conversation in October 2018.
“Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Locsin also explored opportunities to increase people-to-people ties between our two countries, our long-standing commitment to human rights, and our cooperation to strengthen the Philippines’s energy security,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.
The two top diplomats discussed “ongoing efforts to address regional issues, such as the South China Sea [West Philippine Sea], North Korea and counterterrorism.”
Palladino said the two officials reaffirmed “the enduring US-Philippines alliance, including commitments under the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951.”
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Locsin also expressed Manila’s appreciation for the recent return of the Balangiga Bells during the meeting.
Ambassador of the Philippines to the US Jose Manuel G. Romualdez accompanied Locsin.
Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/PNA