Duterte eyes warmer PHL-KSA ties with visit, the first by a sitting PHL president in 8 years

By on April 11, 2017


President Rodrigo Duterte is eager to work closer with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to forge closer ties towards a mutually beneficial relationship. (Photo photo by King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo)
President Rodrigo Duterte is eager to work closer with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to forge closer ties towards a mutually beneficial relationship. (PNA photo by King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—President Rodrigo Duterte is eager to work closer with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to forge closer ties towards a mutually beneficial relationship.

Speaking before Filipino newsmen at the Marriott Courtyard at the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the visit by the President is eyed to address crucial issues between the two countries.

“This is the President’s first state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the first of a Philippine President in the last eight years. The state visit is an opportunity for the Philippines to strengthen the bilateral relations founded on people-to-people ties that can strive for stronger partnership for progress,” Abella said.

Abella further said the Chief Executive’s delegation will pitch the Philippines as an investment destination in meetings with Saudi business leaders.

The Presidential spokesperson, likewise, explained that “the President can stress that the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with growth anchored on strong macroeconomic fundamentals and a leadership resolved to bring genuine reform, combat corruption and address criminality.”

He added that the President, in his meeting with His Majesty King Salman and the courtesy call of Ministers of the Cabinet, can discuss the expansion of the different areas of Philippine-Saudi Arabia cooperation.

Of particular interest he said was the President’s intent to “express appreciation for assistance to Mindanao, specifically on the pursuit of just and lasting peace; explore new growth areas in two-way trade and investments; discuss closer cooperation on security issues that is terrorism and violent extremism, trade in illicit drugs, and other transnational crimes; and to express appreciation for hosting Filipinos in Saudi Arabia and to discuss labor issues confronting overseas Filipino workers.”