29 October 2012

United States Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana met with President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang to promote the expansion of the Nunn-Lugar Global Cooperative Threat Reduction program he is spearheading.

Senator Lugar is on a tour to several Asia Pacific nations and is now in the country to talk with top Philippine officials about the program that intends to reduce the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In a statement by Lugar, he said that Southeast Asia is a major intersection of global trade and commerce by water and air. U.S. strategic economic and foreign policy needs to become more robust in the Asia-Pacific region and Nunn-Lugar Global Cooperative Threat Reduction will be an important tool for our diplomatic and military leaders as we seek a more integrated approach to the region.

He was accompanied during the call by US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Director Kenneth Myers III, Senior Professional Staff Member Keith Luse, DTRA Cooperative Threat Reduction Director for Operations, Readiness and Exercise William Faircloth and DTRA Asia Pacific Office Chief Gary Finchum.

On the Philippine side, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were also present.

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