President Duterte has set off for what is described as a “landmark” eight-day official visit to Israel and Jordan.
“I leave today for landmark visits that underscore our vision for our country — a responsible member of the world community — a Philippines that is a friend to all and an enemy to no one,” he said in his departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport today (Sunday, September 2).
The president will be in Israel until Wednesday, making him the first Filipino leader to travel to Israel since the two countries established ties in 1957.
“My schedule will be full. I shall seek to reaffirm the ties between our peoples made more significant by a meaningful shared history,” he said.
He added that he also looked forward to having a “robust relationship” in areas such as defence and security, law enforcement, economic development, trade and investment.
From Israel to Jordan
From Israel, the president will fly to Jordan to another official visit until next Saturday upon the invitation of King Abdullah II.
He will also become the first Philippine president to visit Jordan, with an agenda to renew relations “with a country and people which have the common aspirations”.
“Certainly, I look forward to discussing ways of advancing cooperation in the key areas of improving defence and security, sustaining growth, addressing transnational crime, intensifying trade and investments and enhancing labor cooperation,” he said.
A Philippine business delegation from different sectors of economy will also join him to explore the “diverse trade and investment opportunities that make Jordan and Israel more tempting to offer”.
He added: “Of course, we will invite their business leaders to look at our own rich market potential.”
The president is scheduled to meet the Filipino communities both in Israel and Jordan, home to about 28,000 and 48,000 Filipinos, respectively.
“With more than two million Filipinos working in that region, I intend to emphasise the great importance that the Philippines attaches to maintaining peace and stability there,” he said.
“In my meeting with the Filipino communities, I shall renew my pledge to do my utmost to bring the change we desire in our country, in ourselves as a people. I will ask them to continue to be our partners for growth, progress and change.
“The Philippines shares with all countries the desire for a stable and secure world. In our efforts to strengthen the bonds of friendship and amity with our partners around the world, we shall be guided by our Constitution and laws as well as our international commitments in support of efforts and initiatives, including the two-state solution, towards the attainment of just and lasting peace.”
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