Duterte, Moon vow to boost bilateral ties

MANILA Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have both vowed to boost bilateral ties between their respective countries to move forward individually and collectively.

Duterte met Moon in a bilateral summit meeting at the Cheong Wa Dae, Seoul on Monday where they began reviewing the progress that the two countries have made in terms of bilateral relations.

In his opening remarks, Moon noted that the Philippines and Korea will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

Moon stressed that upon meeting with Duterte, there were already plenty of productive discussions on ways to elevate relations to an even higher level and to establish regional peace together.

I find it very meaningful that we were able to have such discussions and reaffirm the friendship and trust between the two of us, Moon said in his speech.

The Republic of Korea and the Philippines laid the foundations for solid friendship through the Korean War. On this platform, we have been making remarkable progress for the past 70 years, in every field including politics, economy, culture, and people-to-people exchanges, he added.

Moon, however, said that despite that much progress, there is still enough potential to significantly develop their trade, investment, and people-to-people exchanges.

He, meanwhile, expressed hope that Duterte's state visit will help develop not only bilateral relations between Korea and the Philippines, but also the relations between Korea and ASEAN.

In the meeting today, I look forward to reviewing the progress that our two countries and the peoples have made together in the past 70 years and to having in-depth discussions on substantive ways to develop our bilateral ties in a future-oriented manner for the next 70 years, Moon said.

Duterte, for his part, said that he was humbled by Moon's reception, noting that their meeting was proof that the Philippine-SoKor have a special relationship that can only grow stronger with political commitment.

With the advancement that we have achieved together, there is still room for healthy growth. I am pleased to discuss ways to move our relations further forward, Duterte said.

Duterte also welcomed Moon's New Southern Policy which seeks to enhance the relationship between South Korea to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

As I said before, the Philippines' destiny is in Asia. We need to work with friends and partners like South Korea to achieve shared aspirations for our people and regions, Duterte said.

A deeper engagement with South Korea, our long-standing partner and true friend is essential to further strengthen individual and collective efforts for greater peace, progress, and prosperity, he added.

Duterte also pointed out that the Philippines' independent foreign policy recognizes the importance of South Korea in building the environment needed for us to grow together. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency