Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday reaffirmed the need to boost defense and security ties between the two countries as the region faces security threat from foreign terrorists, Phillippine Presidential Palace Malacañang said.
Duterte and Mahathir met for a bilateral meeting at the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya at 3 p.m.
Duterte was with Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
In a statement, Malacañang said Duterte and Mahathir discussed “matters of mutual interest.”
Both leaders, the Palace said, “renewed and reaffirmed the long-standing brotherhood and friendship between the Philippines and Malaysia.”
“President Duterte likewise renewed the commitment to further strengthen defense and security cooperation at the bilateral and regional level,” it said.
“President Duterte pointed out the need to address terrorism and violent extremism in the region, as well as transnational crime such as piracy and armed robbery at sea and the illegal drug trade,” it added.
Duterte also expressed appreciation for Malaysia’s “sustained support for the quest for just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao.”
Malaysia is the third party facilitator of peace negotiations between the Philippine government the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“Both leaders stressed the importance of working closely together bilaterally and at Asean to achieve shared aspirations of greater peace, progress and prosperity for the Philippines and Malaysia, and greater stability and security in the region,” the Palace said.
Prior to their bilateral meeting, Duterte and Mahathir both watched the fight between Senator Manny Pacquiao and Argentinian boxer Lucas Matthysse on Sunday.