President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Thursday (Friday in Manila) met with his American counterpart Joe Biden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, in what Malacañang described as a "momentous" event aimed at fortifying the alliance between the Philippines and the U.S.
Marcos earlier signaled that he would "strengthen" Manila's relations with Washington, which have been tested by his predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte's foreign policy pivot to U.S. rivals China and Russia.
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"We talked about the deeply rooted relationship of both our countries and the millions of Filipino-Americans and Filipinos residing in the US that tie us together," Marcos said on Facebook after the meeting.
"We are optimistic that we can further strengthen our alliance as we work together towards improving the quality of life for both our peoples," he said.
Biden earlier invited Marcos to Washington after congratulating him for his election victory, saying that he "looks forward" to strengthening the alliance between the two countries.
Aside from Biden, Marcos on Thursday also met with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who currently serves as executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
According to Marcos, he and Blair discussed the peace process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as well as ways to address other priority issues in the global economy such as food security, climate action, and trade.
Marcos also met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, where they discussed the UN's support for the Philippines and tackled various international issues and climate change, according to Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles.
The Philippine leader also had the chance to meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, during which they discussed possible cooperation in the areas of agriculture, energy, health and infrastructure, among others, GMA News reported.
Marcos spoke before foreign dignitaries during the high level debate at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, wherein he discussed the policies being implemented by his administration to help Philippine economy recover from the pandemic.
He also urged world leaders to come up with a fair international system to help stop racism and hate against Asians and other ethnicities.