The Philippines and Malaysia have both pledged to work closely together, bilaterally and at the ASEAN-level, to achieve shared aspirations of peace, progress, and security, Malacañang said on Monday.
Malacañang made this statement after Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte and newly-elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad held a formal meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The meeting of the two leaders took place a day after they watched together Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s boxing match versus Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in July 15.
“Both leaders stressed the importance of working closely together bilaterally and at ASEAN to achieve shared aspirations of greater peace, progress and prosperity for the Philippines and Malaysia, and greater stability and security in the region,” Malacañang said in a press statement.
The Palace said both leaders also renewed and reaffirmed the long-standing brotherhood and friendship between the Philippines and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Duterte renewed his commitment to further strengthen defense and security cooperation at the bilateral and regional level.
He also emphasized the need to address terrorism and violent extremism in the region, and transnational crime such as piracy and armed robbery at sea and the illegal drug trade.
Duterte also thanked Mahathir for the sustained support of the Malaysian government to the quest for just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao, and for taking care of Filipino workers in Malaysia.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who joined Duterte in his trip, said Duterte has assured the Malaysian leader that the Philippines will remain a staunch ally of Malaysia in the area of security, particularly in tackling Islamic extremism and piracy in the high seas.
Roque said Duterte had also invited its neighbor to revive the joint consultative meeting to discuss pending agreements and other possible collaboration.
Duterte is set to return to the Philippines on Monday night (July 16). PNA