Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on September 9 to reaffirm the long-standing alliance and partnership between the Philippines and the United States, as the two countries celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations and 70 years of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) this year.
Secretary Locsin was joined by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez and top Philippine foreign affairs officials in his first in-person meeting with Secretary Blinken since the Biden administration assumed office in January.
“We want to ramp up our bilateral engagement to ensure that our alliance remains strong and resilient,” Secretary Locsin said.
Secretary Locsin also underscored the importance of the MDT, stressing the need for the Philippines to enhance its defense capacity to keep its treaty commitments.
Secretary Locsin and Secretary Blinken also agreed to hold the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) in November and the 2 Plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue in early 2022.
The BSD is a key mechanism for consultation and exchange of views on a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues, and discussion on political, security, and economic cooperation between the Philippines and the United States. The 2 Plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue involves a joint meeting between the Foreign and Defense Ministers of the two countries.
They also discussed ways forward in strengthening the defense capabilities of the Philippines.
Secretary Locsin conveyed President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s deep appreciation for the more than six million vaccines donated by the U.S. to the Filipino people. PHILIPPINE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON D.C.