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Arroyo: RP to remain ‘steadfast’ US ally

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 19:06:00 11/12/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Despite having two congratulatory phone calls unreturned, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed confidence the Philippines will remain a “steadfast” ally of the United States when president-elect Barack Obama assumes power in January.

Arroyo also congratulated the Illinois senator’s constituents on his historic election victory in a speech before the Filipino-American community in Chicago, which was aired over government television on Wednesday.

“In a time of global tension and economic uncertainty, the US and the Philippines remain steadfast allies and friends. The Philippines will continue to be friends and allies with the administration of president-elect Obama just as we had with President [George W.] Bush,” she said.

Aside from the two unreturned calls, in June, when Arroyo was in the US, then candidate Obama was too busy to meet her. She did get to meet eventual loser Senator John McCain.

Arroyo is in the US this week to speak before an interfaith dialogue at the United Nations in New York.

In her speech on Wednesday, Arroyo told the crowd that Obama wrote her a letter before the November elections in which he “reassured us of the strong US-Filipino relations.”

“He recalled that we fought together against fascism in world war the second and stood up successfully against a common adversary during the cold war, and today we find ourselves shoulder to shoulder in the common struggle against terrorism and extremism,” she said.

“And he enumerated several issues that are of mutual concern to us, climate change, food security, poverty reduction, the future of ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], human rights in Burma and defense reform,” she said.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-11-12T16:35:26+00:00UTC11bUTCWed, 12 Nov 2008 16:35:26 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm11

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