Marcos talks with Kishida, Blair on ties

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met for the first time on Wednesday in New York (Thursday in Manila) on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce ties and strengthen cooperation.

The President also met with former United Kingdom Prime Minister Sir Anthony Charles “Tony” Blair, now the executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

He was accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, and House Speaker Martin Romualdez to both meetings.

The President also received World Bank President David Malpass and other business leaders in New York. An official photo showed Mr. Marcos also discussing with Erivaldo A. Gomes, WB Executive Director for the Philippines, and Manuela Ferro, WB Regional Vice President on East Asia and the Pacific.

With Kishida, the President tackled maritime security, maritime domain awareness, maritime law enforcement capacities, and peace in Mindanao, Press Secretary Trixie Angeles said.

“During their meeting, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce ties and strengthen cooperation in response to the challenges and opportunities in the regional security and economic landscape,” Angeles said in a statement.

With Blair, the President discussed the “optimistic” peace process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), food security, climate action, and trade.

“We explored concrete ways to address other priority issues in the global economy such as food security, climate action, and trade,” the President added on his official Facebook page.

Blair was Knighted with the Most Noble Order of the Garter by the late Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle last year.

Angeles said the President discussed his administration’s priorities with the Japanese PM, specifically in the fields of agriculture and food security, energy security, infrastructure development, and cyber security.

Ex-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

“Since the normalization of the Philippines-Japan bilateral ties, both countries have fostered one of the closest partnerships in the region,” she said.

“Both sides exchanged views on bilateral, regional, and international concerns. PM Kishida reiterated Japan’s commitment to supporting the Philippines’ economic development to become an upper middle-income country,” Angeles said.

Both Mr. Marcos and Kishida expressed confidence that bilateral cooperation in the next years “will lead to the further realization of the two countries’ common aspiration for regional peace and stability and a better life for their peoples,” she added.

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