Esperon meets US counterpart, reaffirms PHUS security alliance

MANILA National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., for the first time on Friday (Philippine Time), met with his American counterpart John Bolton, the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. said.

During the meeting, the two officials reaffirmed both countries' commitment to their security alliance. Esperon, for his part, expressed Manila's gratitude for the assistance Washington extended during the 2017 siege in Marawi City and its commitment to contribute to the rehabilitation of the city.

Among others, Esperon discussed with Bolton issues related to terrorism and other regional security concerns, such as the situation in the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.

According to a statement from Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez, this served as an "opportunity" to discuss how the two countries could further strengthen their security alliance.

The meeting was the first time Bolton, who once served as US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, had with Filipino officials since his appointment as National Security Adviser by President Donald Trump in April.

With Romualdez and Esperon was Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who likewise met with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo.

Romualdez said the two foreign ministers had an "open and cordial interaction" at the State Department.

"We are optimistic this would reinforce the ties that bind the relations between our two countries and peoples, the envoy said, adding the meeting gave Cayetano the opportunity to discuss the Duterte administration's independent foreign policy. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency