OTTAWA, Canada — The Philippines and Canada have pledged to further strengthen their bilateral relations during the state visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to the country.
President Aquino arrived in Ottawa on Thursday afternoon and was welcomed by Governor General David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston with military honors at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the governor general of Canada.
The President is on a three-day visit to Canada, which will also have stops in Toronto and Vancouver.
In his short remarks following the official welcome ceremony, President Aquino said the Philippines is looking forward to strengthening its “robust relations” with Canada.
“I believe that if we continue engaging one another, as we have done in the past, then we can turn our collective aspirations of meaningful shared progress that is inclusive, into tangible realities sooner rather than later,” he added.
For his part, Governor General Johnston recognized Canada’s strong and growing relations with the Philippines.
“The dialogue we engage in is vital to the strength of our relationship. In our modern age, we must be able to communicate. We know this today, just as those who forged our initial links knew, that we would find more success when we work together,” he said.
The governor general said the Philippines and Canada have so much in common.
“Yours is one of the most vibrant and rapidly developing regions in the world, with great opportunities to achieve success and some new challenges to overcome,” he said.
“Canada, in turn, is pleased to support the Philippines’ long-term commitments in areas of security, disaster management, development and humanitarian aid,” he added.
The welcome ceremony was followed by President Aquino’s courtesy call on Governor General Johnston and the ceremonial tree planting at the grounds of Rideau Hall.