Duterte to hold talks with US defense secretary

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is expected to hold a meeting with United States (US) Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 3rd in Malacañang on Thursday, July 29.

In a statement, the Palace confirmed that Austin will pay a courtesy call on Duterte upon his arrival in the Philippines.

Austin is expected to visit the country this week in line with the 75th anniversary of the Philippine-United States relations. His trip to Manila will come after his visits to Vietnam and Singapore.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is scheduled to receive United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin 3rd in a courtesy call in Malacañang on 29 July 2021,” the Palace said.

“His visit to the Philippines highlights the 75th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and the United States and the 70th Anniversary of the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty,” it added.

The Philippines and the US established their formal diplomatic relations on July 4, 1946.

The Mutual Defense Treaty, inked by Manila and Washington on August 30, 1951, aims to boost the defense and security cooperation between them.

Expected to attend are Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje.

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