President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday expressed readiness to work closely with Australia and other regional partners as he cited the importance of enhanced partnerships among countries in the Asia Pacific.
According to the Presidential Communications Office, Marcos thus remarked during the courtesy call of Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Malacañang.
Wong is currently in the country for a four-day official working visit.
“Now we have a situation where partnerships have become extremely important and it might be the key to maintaining the peace not only in the Asia Pacific but the Indo-Pacific region,” Marcos said.
“And that I think is probably the key element in many of the relationships that we have not only between Australia and the Philippines but also of the countries around the Indo-Pacific region," he added.
Marcos is hoping Wong’s visit will strengthen the Philippines' ties to Australia.
He said the two countries should continue the efforts to sustain relationships, partnerships, and alliances in response to the rapidly changing geo-political situation.
“And therefore, we have to stay in very close communication so that we present a common plan to meet not only with ASEAN but all member states around the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
Following their bilateral meeting during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting last year, Marcos said he expected to have another opportunity to meet Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in September.
Wong, for her part, conveyed Albanese’s message to Marcos, highlighting the need to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
“We want to work with you for our mutual benefit recognizing the importance of economic strength,” Wong told Marcos. —NB, GMA Integrated News