Thursday, 30 July 2009

PGMA’s meeting with Obama – a pivotal time for US-Asia relations

WASHINGTON DC (PND) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said today that her meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House here “comes at a pivotal time for US relations in Asia.”

Speaking before the officers and members of the Filipinos International of the United States of America (FILUSA), the Chief Executive said she’s very pleased to have accepted the invitation of President Obama for her to be the “first leader from our region to meet with him at the White House.”

“We’re very hopeful that the Obama administration will put America on the radar screen in Asia,” the President stressed.

The President noted that the visit to the region by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton where she met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo in Thailand, together with the early outreach by President Obama “sent strong signals that the United States is committed to more robust engagements with the region.”

“The fact that President Obama sought out the Philippines for this first opportunity is a testament to the strong and deep ties between our two nations,” the President also said.

“Kaya maganda iyong mga placard ninyo: Mabuhay RP-US relations,” the President said referring to the wordings in the placards hanging on the walls during the dinner meeting.

The President pointed out that her “expectations for this trip are straightforward: to meet the new US president who is our strong friend and ally and advance the interest of the Philippines.”

She noted that the United States is essential to the country’s economic, diplomatic and national security.

The President stressed that high on the agenda during her meeting with President Obama will be peace and security issues, including ways to continue strengthen regional cooperation and anti-terrorism.

“We will also discuss the global economic crisis that have swept the world, and what we can do to mitigate its impact on the poor especially in Asia and the Philippines,” she said.

Despite the onslaught of the financial global crisis last year, the President said “the country weathered a succession of global crisis in fuel, in food, then in finance…. But never losing focus and with economic fundamentals intact.”

She also made mention that Moody’s upgraded the country’s credit rating in the middle of the global recession citing the resilience of the economy.

“Therefore, I could say that the state of our nation is a strong economy,” the President said.

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