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Jakarta Post

Duterte, Mahathir reaffirm need to boost security, defense ties 

  • Nestor Corrales

    Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

Manila   /   Mon, July 16, 2018   /   08:01 pm
Duterte, Mahathir reaffirm need to boost security, defense tiesĀ  Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (front row second right) gestures next to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (front row second left) after Philippines' Manny Pacquiao beat Argentina's Lucas Matthysse during their world welterweight boxing championship bout at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on July 15, 2018. (AFP/File photo)

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. 

This article appeared on the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post