MANILA, Philippines – Nangako si United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin na tutulungan ang Pilipinas na gawing makabago ang defense capabilities at itataas ang interoperability ng American at Filipino military forces.
“From defense perspective, we will continue to work together with our great partners and to build and modernize your capabilities as well as increase our interoperability,” ayon kay Austin sa kanyang pambungad na pananalita bago pa ang kanyang pulong kay Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. sa Malakanyang.
“So we are very, very happy to be here once again and I look forward to a great discussion with you, Mr. President,” ayon kay Austin.
Sa hiwalay na pahayag, sinabi ng Pangulo na nakikita niya ang kinabukasan ng Pilipinas at Asia-Pacific na nakabigkis sa Estados Unidos dahil sa “strong and historic partnership” ng Pilipinas at ng rehiyon sa Estados Unidos.
“And again, I have always said that it seems to me that the future of the Philippines and, for that matter, the Asia Pacific will always have to involve the United States simply because those partnerships are so strong and so historically embedded in our common psyches that can only be an advantage to both our countries,” ang wika ng Pangulo.
“So thank you once again for coming to visit with us and to give us the opportunity to discuss with you and through you, the American government, our own outlook on this situation as it stands at the present,” dagdag na pahayag ng Pangulo.
Pinasalamatan naman ng Chief Executive si Austin sa gitna ng kumplikadong sitwasyon sa rehiyon at pakikipagpalitan ng ilang ideya, saloobin at impormasyon sa kanya ukol sa kasalukuyang situwasyon sa Asia-Pacific.
Ang Pilipinas, ayon kay Pangulong Marcos “can only navigate properly in this environment with the help of its partners and allies in the international sphere.”
“As we traverse these rather troubled waters — geopolitical waters, the economic waters — that we are facing, I again put great importance on that partnerships, specifically with the United States… all partnerships and alliances that we are able to make with our friends around the world,” ang pahayag ni Pangulong Marcos. Kris Jose