24 October 2012
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard MP welcomed President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Parliament House in Canberra. The President signed the Prime Minister’s Visitors’ Book before their official photo was taken. Thereafter, the two leaders went to Her Excellency’s office where President Aquino was introduced to the Australian officials and Prime Minister Gillard to the Philippine officials.
The two leaders discussed about the developments in the two countries’ political, economic and defense partnership, and other development areas. Currently, the Philippines’ two strategic partners are the United States of America (USA) and Japan. The Philippine government is offering the third to Australia and President Aquino earlier said that the Australian government is presently studying the offer.
President Aquino and Prime Minister Gillard likewise updated each other on national developments which include the recently signed GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro which aims to bring about lasting peace in the Mindanao region.
Prime Minister Gillard has been the Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Australian Labor Party since June 24, 2010. She is the 27th leader of Australia and the first female to hold both offices.
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