Aquino, Hollande to tackle terrorism, economy

By , on February 22, 2015

French President Francis Hollande (Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock)
French President Francis Hollande (Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock)

MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III and French President Francois Hollande are set to discuss international terrorism as well as economy and climate change during the latter’s two-day state visit from February 26 to 27 in Manila.

The two leaders will exchange views regarding issues that have international and regional importance like terrorism such as what to happened Charlie Hebdo in Paris that killed 20 people,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. announced on Sunday through state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

Coloma was referring to the series of attacks by Islamist gunmen last month in Paris, including the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper.

Recently, international terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir alias Marwan was killed in an operation carried out by the Special Action Force (SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

A total of 44 SAF troops were killed in the operation after they encountered the combined combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Coloma said Hollande, the first incumbent French leader to visit the Philippines, will also discuss the trading partnership of the two countries.

”France is the second biggest trading partner of the Philippines in the European Union amounting to USD2.39 billion as of October 2014,” Coloma said.

Hollande is also expected to get support from President Aquino on the issue of climate change as preparation for the 21st Conference of Parties or COP 21 meeting in Paris in December 2015 to be attended by at least 40,000 delegates from around the world.

Hollande will be accompanied by more than 100 officials, some popular personalities and members of the media.

The two-day official visit was in response to President Aquino’s invitation to the French President during the Philippines President’s first visit in France in September last year.

”The government of France under the leadership of Francois Mitterrand was the first government to recognize the government of former President Corazon Aquino after the 1986 People Power Revolution,” Coloma said.

Upon his arrival in the Philippines, Hollande will immediately proceed to Luneta for the wreath laying in honor of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.