President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday, November 13, that it is in the best interest of both the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States to keep working together for the benefit of their people.
“It is our shared interest to keep our ASEAN-US engagement close and to ensure that our strategic partnership delivers the best results for our peoples,” President Duterte said in his remarks at the opening of the 5th ASEAN-US Summit Commemoration and the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations.
According to President Duterte, Trump’s presidency came at a time when ASEAN is celebrating 50 years of relative peace and prosperity made possible by supportive external partners, including the United States.
In his response, President Trump said the US remains committed to ASEAN’s central role as a regional forum for total cooperation.
He said the diplomatic partnership becomes the vehicle for advancing security and prosperity of Americans and Indo-Pacific nations.
Trump noted that nations in the region have built strong societies, robust economies, and vibrant communities over several decades.
According to the US President, his country has been moving ahead brilliantly on an economic basis since the US elections in November last year. He said America’s better economic development benefits the ASEAN as a region.
“So we want our partners in the region to be strong, independent and prosperous. In control of their own destinies and satellites to no one. These are the principles behind our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Trump said.
Trump meanwhile commended President Duterte for his successful chairmanship of the ASEAN.
“I want to thank you for incredible hospitality and the show last night, the talent at that show, I assume mostly from the Philippines, was fantastic. Thank you. And you were fantastic also very much from the Philippines,” Trump said. PND