PASAY CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday, September 2, 2018, departed for a landmark official visits to the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. President Duterte is the first Philippine President who will visit the two nations.
In his departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Chief Executive said that his visits would ensure the welfare of Filipinos in the region as well as to strengthen economic and defense cooperation.
“We have about 28,000 Filipinos in Israel, and there are 48,000 Filipinos in Jordan. You know, without mentioning anything, there’s a volatile situation there. We have to be sure that our citizens are fully protected,” he said.
On his first stop, the Chief Executive will stay in Israel from September 2 to 5 upon the invitation of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In Israel, President Duterte seeks to reaffirm the people-to-people ties between the two nations based on their significant shared history.
At the same time, the President said he would seek to have a robust relationship for broader cooperation on a wide range of mutually essential areas such as defense and security, law enforcement, economic development, trade and investments, and labor.
After Israel, President Duterte will proceed to Jordan for an Official Visit from September 5 to 8. His trip to Jordan is upon the invitation of King Abdullah II.
According to President Duterte, his trip to Jordan is promising, as he aims to renew relations with nations like Jordan, which have common aspirations with the Philippines.
“Certainly, I look forward to discussing ways [of] advancing cooperation in the key areas of improving defense and security, sustaining growth, addressing transnational crime, intensifying trade and investments, and enhancing labor cooperation,” the President said.
“I shall seek to fully maximize economic cooperation and realize trade potential with both Israel and Jordan,” the President added.
Accompanying the President is a Filipino business delegation from different sectors of the economy wanting to explore the various trade and investment opportunities in both countries.
Likewise, Jordanian and Israeli business leaders will also be invited to look for possible investment opportunities in the Philippines’ affluent market, according to the President.
On his trip, President Duterte will also meet Filipinos residing in Israel and Jordan. In reaching to the Filipino communities there, the President said he would renew his pledge in bringing about change in the country and its people.
Moreover, the President stresses, that he will emphasize with his counterparts the great importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region.
“In these Official Visits, I will continue to be guided by my mandate to uphold and protect the national interests of the Philippines,” he said.
In strengthening the bonds of friendship with the Philippines’ partners around the world, he assures the public that he will be guided by the Philippine Constitution and laws as well as by the international commitments that our nations have entered into.
Having said this, President Duterte reiterated his administration’s stance to have an independent foreign policy with a principle of “a friend to all, an enemy to none.”
President Duterte said that the Philippines is fully supporting efforts and initiatives including the two-state solution in Israel and the occupied territories towards the attainment of just and lasting peace. ### PND