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Marcos to meet King Philippe, seek Philippines-Belgium strategic partnership

The Philippines is looking to pursue a strategic partnership with Belgium and sign a joint plan of action for 2023 until 2027, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. told members of the Filipino community on Monday night in Brussels.

In his speech, Marcos said he would raise the country's intention in a royal audience with King Philippe.

“Our relationships have remained strong and vibrant based on shared values, common interest, and the good reputation that Filipinos have built not only here in Europe but all over the world,” Marcos said.

“It will also be an opportunity to convey to the King that the Philippines intends to pursue a strategic partnership with Belgium in various fields,” he added.

“We look forward to signing a Philippines-Belgium joint plan of action for 2023 to 27 that could further enhance bilateral cooperation and allow our two countries to discuss regional and global issues of mutual concern,” Marcos said.

Marcos is in Belgium to participate in the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit.

Marcos commended the Filipinos in Belgium and in Europe for their role in strengthening the country’s relations in the region.

“Without a doubt, our ties with Belgium continue to flourish not only because of g-to-g or government-to-government contracts but because of the strong interpersonal linkages of the Filipino community with Belgians and other expatriates whether through employment or marriage and family ties,” Marcos said.

“Truly, you all deserve to be recognized because your interaction with them has enriched our relations,” he added.

Marcos praised the Filipinos in Belgium particularly the health workers as heroes as “the world slowly recovered from COVID.”

“The world is slowly recovering from COVID. Pandemic has left a deep and indelible impact on our society, our economies, our health and our everyday lives,” Marcos said.

“Just as our kababayan in the Philippines experienced health and economic hardships, overseas Filipinos had it worse by being away from their families with travel restrictions, keeping away further from their loved ones,” he added.

“It’s truly a blessing that travel now is returning to normal. Despite the challenges I mentioned, overseas Filipinos are still the heroes of the pandemic. Many of you are frontline medical workers or caregivers that look after the sick, the old, and the vulnerable,” Marcos said.—NB, GMA Integrated News