Philippines praises Australia’s role in ensuring peace and security in Asia-Pacific

May. 31, 2007

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lauded today the important role Australia is playing in ensuring peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

“As Chair of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), I am deeply grateful for the leadership role that Australia plays to advance the interests of the entire region,” the President said upon her arrival in Canberra this afternoon for a two-day state visit to Australia.

The President, who proceeded to Australia after her four-day visit to New Zealand, cited the need to “build new alliances on a bilateral and multilateral basis to ensure greater political, economic and military security.”

Stressing her vigilance to terror threats, the President said she welcomes the “power and resources of our allies like Australia to help us root out and destroy these vicious killers who ply their dislocated and evil ideology on the innocent.”

“And there is no more reliable friend and ally than Australia to anchor our peace and security. I am optimistic about the unity of our region and our prospects for peace, stability and economic growth,” the President said.

She also said she is “deeply honored” to visit Australia, a major ally and strong economic partner of the Philippines, “to forge deeper economic, security and cultural ties that will bring our nations even closer together.”

President Arroyo is the first Philippine President to visit Australia in over 10 years after the 1995 state visit there of then President Fidel Ramos.

“Our friendship has been forged on the anvil of history from the battles of World war Two to liberate Asia, through Korea, Vietnam and now the war against terror,” President Arroyo said.

Australia has given the Philippines some A$10 million in grants for counter-terrorism capacity building, including cooperation on law enforcement, maritime, aviation and transport security.

During the Presidents state visit, the Philippines and Australia are expected to sign a historic security agreement. (OPS) (

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