President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said he sees the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim as a reaffirmation of the shared commitment of the Philippines and Malaysia to revitalize their bilateral relations.
In his toast remarks during the official dinner hosted for the visiting Malaysian leader, President Marcos said he was heartened by Prime Minister Anwar’s visit “not only because I am happy to see a friend, whom we have come to admire greatly.”
“I view the Prime Minister’s visit as a rekindling of an old friendship and old bond that took millennia to make, between neighbors and ASEAN founding members, whose people have interacted and traded for centuries before they even knew the concept of countries,” the President said.
“More importantly, I view this visit as a reaffirmation of our shared commitment to revitalize our bilateral relations” Marcos added.
According to the President, there is an immense potential in the areas of trade and investment.
And as pillars of ASEAN, Marcos said, they have the responsibility and the opportunity
to strengthen their community, and work towards regional peace and prosperity.
The Philippines and the Filipino people backed Anwar during some of his darkest days, Marcos said, assuring that the sincere and tested friendship has remained strong throughout the decades.
“I further express my hope that this warm kinship between us, as leaders, will set the tone of the bilateral relations between our governments, countries and people, in the years to come,” the Philippine leader said.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is the President’s first official guest, highlighting the importance of Malaysia as the country’s ASEAN neighbor.
Aside from being ASEAN founding members, the two countries have rich bilateral ties and history, boasting almost six decades of friendship with interactions between their peoples dating back millennia.
Malaysia and the Philippines have engaged in collaborative initiatives for a peaceful and more secure region by conducting joint patrols to combat transnational crimes in the seas.
Malaysia also acted as third party facilitator in the Philippine government’s peace process with Muslim separatists in Mindanao, which has contributed to significant progress in the peace and stability in the south. (PND)