MANILA (XINHUA) - The Philippines and the United States have committed to bolstering joint efforts in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism by sharing military intelligence information, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines said on Sunday (May 20).
The DFA said the agreement was reached during a recent meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii between a high-level Philippine delegation led by Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris Jr and the commanders of all US Pacific Command's service components represented the US delegation.
Both sides agreed on the need to work more closely together, including in the exchange of information, in the fight against terrorism and in countering violent extremism, the DFA said in a statement.
The DFA said Admiral Harris lauded the Philippines on retaking Marawi form Islamist extremists that attacked the southern Philippine city in May last year. The attack triggered a five-month fighting that ruined the city and displaced thousands of residents.
The DFA said Washington and Manila have also reaffirmed their firm resolve to bolster their enduring alliance anchored on common values and interest, historic ties and the Mutual Defence Treaty signed in 1951 between the two allies.
The Philippine delegation had a very substantive exchange with Admiral Harris on regional challenges and both sides agreed that the alliance remains consequential to the preservation of regional stability and development, the DFA said.