Saudi King ‘deeply respects’ Duterte for Marawi liberation

MANILA Saudi Arabia's King Salman said he has deep respect for President Rodrigo R. Duterte for his action that led to the liberation of Marawi City from the clutches of ISIS-inspired terrorist groups.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it was His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif who conveyed the Saudi King's message during his meeting with Duterte in MalacaAang.

The Prince conveyed the deep respect of the Saudi King for the President's strong and decisive action that led to the liberation of Marawi from extremists and terrorists, Roque said in a statement.

Prince Abdulaziz, who is also the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Minister of Interior, arrived in the country last Saturday for a three-day official visit, where he met with several Philippine officials over the weekend.

The Saudi prince arrived in MalacaAang around 2 p.m. where he was ushered for the traditional signing of the Palace guestbook.

Roque said during their meeting, Prince Abdulaziz conveyed the personal and warm wishes of King Salman to the President and reaffirmed the importance of the Philippines to Saudi Arabia.

The presidential spokesperson said the President, for his part, thanked the Prince for the visit and reaffirmed the commitment of the Philippines to defeat and break the backbone of terrorism and violent extremism.

Duterte also stressed the need to expand cooperation across fields including security, trade and investment, as well as in promoting the rights, safety and well-being of Filipinos, Roque said.

Roque described the meeting between the President and Prince as very warm and cordial.

After courtesy call, Duterte hosted a luncheon in honor of the visiting Prince at the President's Hall.

Over a specially prepared Filipino inspired menu, the two discussed the strengthening bilateral relations and issues of mutual importance, particularly in law enforcement, peace and order and security, Roque said.

Among the Cabinet officials who accompanied the President were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Eduardo AAo, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Bong Go.

Source: Philippine News Agency