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US commitment to PH ‘ironclad’

  • Written by Cristina Lee-Pisco
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 217

UNITED States Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday said he is hoping to visit the Philippines again before his term ends stressing the “United States continues to place a high value on the close ties” it has with the Philippines.

Kerry said he is confident about the future of the US-Philippines bilateral relations, “notwithstanding a difference here or there about one thing or another.”
   
“I am absolutely confident about the ties between our peoples and the affinity for our values and our hopes,” he said.
   
The Philippines-US relations are going through rough times following a series of tirades by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte against the US for criticizing his administration’s war against illegal drugs.
   
Kerry repeated what he said last July in the Philippines when he met with President Duterte and with Foreign Secretary Yasay that the United States continues to place a high value on the close ties that exist between our countries.
   
“We continue to recognize our ironclad commitment to the sovereignty, independence, and security of the Philippines,” Kerry said when he spoke at a swearing-in ceremony for the new US ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim.
   
“And we will continue to cooperate in efforts to maintain peace and stability, and to promote shared prosperity in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.
   
Kerry vowed the US will continue to assist the Filipino people in the event of natural emergencies.
   
“I was personally there right after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), when we delivered enormously important help and assistance. And we will continue to consult openly and honestly on issues of impact to both of our countries. And I very much hope to visit there before leaving my term of office as Secretary of State.”
   
He added: “Democratic elections bring change, and we must all have the wisdom to recognize and to adjust to that change. But the logic of our alliance, of why we have stood together for so long, of how deeply there are bonds of friendship and family between our people – those are as compelling today as they have ever been.”
   
The Philippine Embassy in Washington DC for its part congratulated Ambassador Sung on his appointment.
   
The Embassy said they are looking forward to working with Sung in fostering mutually beneficial Philippines-US ties.