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PIA Press Release

PGMA arrives from a fruitful trip abroad

Tacloban City (February 8) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo returned to the country early morning Sunday after a fruitful week-long trip to Switzerland, Middle East and the United States.

The President was met by some officials including Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Jr., Press Secretary Cerge Remonde and Presidential Management Staff Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., when she arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 aboard a commercial Philippine Airlines PR-105 flight, at 5:15 in the morning.

The President flew in from the United States where she attended the National Prayer Breakfast Meeting which was attended by officials of the United States led by President Barack Obama; and other leaders from all over the world.

On the last day of her trip abroadWhile in the United States, the President met with State Secretary Hillary Clinton with whom she talked about strengthening the good relationship between the United States and the Philippines during the administration of President Obama.

The first leg of President Arroyo's trip was in Davos, Switzerland to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) last Jan. 31. While there, she proposed for the expansion of the G-7 to G-20 or even G-30 so emerging economies could also have a voice on how to re-energize the weakening world economy.

After the WEF session, she met with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and invited him to visit the country soon. The Philippines and Thailand are celebrating the 60th anniversary of their foreign relations this year.

The President then proceeded to Saudi Arabia where Saudi Arabian King Abdullah promised her to send send a high-level business mission to the Philippines in April to locate investment opportunities.

President Arroyo also visited the nearby Bahrain where she and Prime Minister Shaik Khalifa Salman Al Khalifa witnessed the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MOU) on agricultural and fisheries cooperation between the two countries.

While in Bahrain, the President also met with the Filipino community where she assured the OFWs that the Philippine government has put in place measures that will cushion the effect of the current global economic crisis on them.

President Arroyo then flew to the US for the National Prayer Breakfast meeting where she met with US Congress leaders and talked with them issues which included economic policies, maintaining strong bilateral ties, the new paradigm on the peace negotiations in Mindanao, and the long-standing push for the Veterans' Bill that will benefit the Filipino war veterans who fought under the American flag during the World War II.

During her meeting with Secretary Clinton, President Arroyo invited the State Secretary to visit the Philippines. Secretary Clinton is scheduled to visit Asia, specifically China, Japan and Malaysia, for the first time as State Secretary, in the next two week. (PIA 8) [top]

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