News and Events 2012
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Remarks by President Obama and President Aquino of the Philippines after Bilateral Meeting
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It is a great pleasure to welcome President Aquino to the Oval Office and to the White House.
I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him, most recently during my Asia trip, when we met most recently in Bali. And at that time, we discussed how important the U.S.-Philippine relationship was, the historic ties, the 60 years of a mutual defense treaty, the extraordinary links between Filipino-Americans that have brought our two countries so closely together. And we pledged to work on a whole host of issues that would continue to strengthen and deepen the relationship for the 21st century.
We talked about how we could work on security issues, on economic issues, on people-to-people exchanges, and on a whole host of regional issues. And I just want to thank President Aquino for his excellent cooperation, because we've made a great deal of progress since that time.
On economic issues, the Philippines is the recipient of a Millennium Challenge grant that is helping to foster greater development and opportunity within the Philippines. We have a partnership for growth that is working on how we can make sure that we are structuring a relationship of expanding trade and commerce between our two countries.
I want to congratulate President Aquino for the work that he's done on the Open Government Partnership that is consistent with his campaign to root out corruption that can facilitate greater economic development within the Philippines.
And on security and military issues, we had discussions about how we can continue to consult closely together, to engage in training together, work on a range of regional issues together -- all of which is consistent with the announced pivot by the United States back to Asia, and reminding everybody that, in fact, the United States considers itself, and is, a Pacific power.
Throughout all these exchanges and all the work that we've done I've always found President Aquino to be a thoughtful and very helpful partner. And I think that as a consequence of the meeting today in which we discussed not only military and economic issues, but also regional issues -- for example, trying to make sure that we have a strong set of international norms and rules governing maritime disputes in the region -- that I'm very confident that we're going to see continued friendship and strong cooperation between our two countries.
So, Mr. President, thank you for visiting. We are very proud of the friendship between our two countries, and we look forward to continuing in the future.
PRESIDENT AQUINO: I would like to thank President Obama for all the support that the U.S. has given us in our quest to really transform our society. Ours is a shared history, shared values, and that's why America is just one of two that we have strategic partnerships with.
Today's meeting has really even deepened and strengthened a very long relationship we have, especially as we face the challenges that are before both our countries in the current situation.
And again, we'd like to thank them for all the expressions of support that even now has led to the resolution of situations within our territory.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: All right. Thank you, everybody.