The Philippines aims to have an intensified collaboration with Saudi Arabia in vital ventures of anti-terrorism and security, trade, and promotion of welfare of Filipino workers.
President Rodrigo Duterte expressed interest in further strengthening the Philippines bilateral relations with the Saudi Arabia during the Malacanang visit Saudi Arabia Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif.
The Saudi royal has reportedly agreed to bolster bilateral ties and has affirmed the importance of the Philippines to Saudi Arabia which is home to more than 700,000 Filipino workers.
“The President has very warm and cordial talks during the courtesy call of HRH the Prince who is also the Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
“The President said there is need to expand cooperation across many fields, especially in security, trade and investment, as well as in promoting the rights, safety and well-being of Filipinos,” Roque supported.
The Saudi King is also said to be give positive feedbacks with how Duterte handled the Marawi terror siege last year.
“The Prince conveyed the deep respect of the Saudi King for the President’s strong and decisive action that led to the liberation of Marawi from extremists and terrorists,” the Spokesperson noted.
Duterte, accompanied by a few Cabinet members, met with the visiting Saudi Prince behind closed doors in Malacanang. A special Filipino-inspired luncheon hosted by Duterte was also served for the Saudi Prince and his delegation.
“Over a specially prepared Filipino-inspired menu, the two discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations and issues of mutual importance, particularly in law enforcement, peace and order and security,” Roque said.