US-Philippine alliance will “endure and remain strong” because of the two countries’ long-standing relations, and US President Barack Obama is “committed to work effectively” with Manila to advance shared interests in his last four months in office, a US official said on Wednesday, September 14.
“Let me say that the Philippines Foreign Minister and its defense ministry have issued statements… affirming the importance of the closeness of the alliance,” said Nina Hachigian, the US ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
“We have a wide range of shared concerns and shared interests with the Philippines, and we’ve been able to work effectively together to advance those interests, and Mr. Obama has committed to doing that in the four months remaining,” Hachigian said in a telephonic press conference with journalists.
When asked about President Duterte’s directive that the Philippine military would not conduct any joint maritime patrols with its allies in the South China Sea, Hachigian referred the reporters to the US and Philippine defense departments for “more details about that.”
But she also said “with the new administration, we are currently beginning to have meetings and discuss our shared priorities and programs,” referring to the Duterte administration.
The US and Asean is set to have an informal meeting in Hawaii later this month.