US Secretary of State Blinken pays courtesy call on Marcos

By GMA News

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid a courtesy call on President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. at Malacañang on Saturday morning.

Blinken arrived at the Palace past 9 a.m., according to GMA News reporter Mav Gonzales.




He first signed the Palace guestbook then met with Marcos.






In a statement, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos and Blinken highlighted the importance of the relationship between the two countries during their meeting.

"The two officials talked about a wide array of issues that include defense and security cooperation, renewable energy, climate change mitigation, agriculture, food security, and COVID-19, among others," she said.

According to the Cabinet official, Marcos said the Philippines will continue to "evolve that friendship in the face of all the challenges that we’ve been seeing."

Blinken, on the other hand, lauded the Filipino nurses in the US, describing them as "angels who are caring in so many ways," Cruz-Angeles said.

Also present during the meeting were US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kin Moy, Director of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff Salman Ahmed, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Thomas Sullivan, and Political Counselor Brett Blackshaw.

Blinken then had an online meeting with his Filipino counterpart, Enrique Manalo, and appeared at a virtual joint news conference

Blinken arrived in Manila on Friday night.

Department of Foreign Affairs Chief of Protocol Fred Santos and Office of American Affairs Assistant Secretary JV Chan-Gonzaga welcomed Blinken when his aircraft landed at the Villamor Airbase. —with Richa Noriega/KG/VBL, GMA News