PH, US seek stronger ties in energy and people-to-people trade

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. met with US State Secretary Michael Pompeo last December 20 in Washington, D.C. in hopes of sealing cooperation between the country and the United States in the energy industry and people-to-people exchanges.

The meeting was said to be a follow-up to the two officials’ phone conversation back in October 2018.

“Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Locsin also explored opportunities to increase people-to-people ties between our two countries, our long-standing commitment to human rights, and our cooperation to strengthen the Philippines’s energy security,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

Pompeo and Locsin discussed “ongoing efforts to address regional issues, such as the South China Sea [West Philippine Sea], North Korea and counterterrorism.”

Palladino said both parties reaffirmed “the enduring US-Philippines alliance, including commitments under the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951.”

Locsin also expressed his appreciation for the return of the Balangiga Bells during the meeting, according to the foreign affairs department.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel G. Romualdez accompanied the foreign affairs secretary in the meeting.