STATE Secretary Michael Pompeo met with Foreign Affairs chief Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Thursday (Friday in the Philippines), reaffirming the enduring Philippines-US alliance including commitments under the Mutual Defense Treaty.
Their meeting in Washington D.C. was a follow up to the two foreign ministers’ phone conversation last October.
“Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Locsin also explored opportunities to increase people-to-people ties between our two countries, our longstanding commitment to human rights, and our cooperation to strengthen the Philippines’ energy security,” said State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino.
The two top diplomats discussed “ongoing efforts to address regional issues such as the South China Sea, North Korea, and counterterrorism,” he said.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Locsin also expressed Manila’s appreciation for the recent return of the Balangiga Bells during the meeting.
Locsin was accompanied by Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.