11 DECEMBER 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. 11 December 2021 — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. met today with the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland at the sidelines of the G7 Ministerial Meetings in Liverpool, United Kingdom, held on 10-12 December 2021.
The meeting is part of the two countries’ enhanced and sustained bilateral engagement in pursuit of their common national security objectives and post-pandemic recovery agenda. Building on the series of visits by PH and U.S. officials this year including the most recent Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, the two officials discussed next steps for strengthening the PH-U.S. alliance, as well as cooperation within the context of ASEAN and the UN to address current and emerging challenges.
Secretary Locsin and Undersecretary Nuland touched on preparations for the Special U.S.-ASEAN Summit that the U.S. is proposing to host in January. They also discussed arrangements for other high-level visits and meetings expected to take place in the first half of 2022, including the Two-Plus-Two Ministerial Dialogue that was previously agreed upon by the respective Defense and Foreign Secretaries.
“I was very pleased with their firm assurances that the United States continues to regard the Philippines as a crucial ally in the region, and that it stands ready to support the Philippines, including against armed attacks on our armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific,” Secretary Locsin said.
Undersecretary Nuland said “We are proud to stand with you and we are very proud to see how you stood for international law.”
Secretary Locsin congratulated the United States for its successful virtual hosting of the Summit for Democracy this week, with the participation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Recounting the messages of both Presidents Duterte and Biden at the Summit, the two officials underscored the countries’ shared commitment to the protection and promotion of democratic ideals and principles and to continuing work on our imperfect democracies to ensure that they benefit our peoples, especially the poor and marginalized. Secretary Locsin invited the U.S. to support the UN Joint Program on Human Rights noting that its contribution would be “an expression of your support to a long-standing ally and to our shared commitment to democracy and the rule of law.”
He also expressed gratitude for the close to 20 million donated doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen vaccines that the Philippines received from the United States, so far, through the COVAX Facility. Secretary Locsin also sought the United States’ continued support for the PH as it administers booster shots for its population, as well as in the Philippines’ efforts to build its capacity for local vaccine development, manufacturing and distribution.
This year has been a landmark year for PH and US relations, as the two countries celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of their formal diplomatic relations and the 70th year since the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). ###