Commentary: Philippine relations with int'l community at all-time high
By Henry S. Lagasca
San Fernando City, La Union (13 August) -- Facing grave challenges unprecedented in history, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been working hard in forging understanding and cooperation with the international community.
That the President is exerting extra efforts in bringing the country back on its feet on the heels of the heightened global concern regarding soaring oil and food prices that resulted to a global economic slowdown.
While in China, Ms. Arroyo held series of meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese businessmen on possible investments in the Philippines and witnessed the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
A separate meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was also held with favorable results from Rudd assuring Australia's support to the candidacy of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a judicial body of the United Nations (UN).
Returning from a four-day working visit in China last Sunday, President Arroyo received in Malacanang visiting Switzerland President Pascal Couchepin and the following day welcomed East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta who also made an official visit to the country.
The Swiss President's visit strengthened further the 52-year old diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Swiss Confederation.
Ms. Arroyo and President Couchepin agreed to strengthen cooperation on Federalism and Multiculuralism during their bilateral talks. The Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (East Timor) signed three agreements with the Philippines on education, marine and fisheries, and diplomat training and development.
Referred to as "old friends from way back", Ms. Arroyo engaged the two leaders in separate "friendly discussion" and pledged their countries' support for each other in different undertakings.
President Arroyo's successful diplomatic engagement is a clear indication for continued and sustained strong ties between the Philippines and the international community. (PIA Region 1) [top]