28 April 2014
President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed visiting U.S. President Barack Obama as he arrived in Malacañang past two in the afternoon.
During the welcome ceremony, a 21-gun salute was delivered and the national anthems of the Philippines and the United States of America were played. The leaders then inspected the troops and the commander of the honor guards saluted President Obama which signalled the conclusion of the ceremony.
The two Presidents introduced the officials-in-attendance of each country and listened to the playing of Pangkat Kawayan before they went inside Malacañan Palace.
Accompanied by President Aquino, President Obama signed the official guestbook at the Reception Hall. The American leader wrote, “I thank President Aquino and the people of the Philippines welcoming me. May America’s oldest alliance in Asia always be renewed by our friendship and mutual respect.”
The two leaders had their photo taken inside the Music Room before heading to the Aguinaldo State Dining Room for an expanded bilateral meeting where they discussed various issues of mutual interest.
In a joint press conference, President Aquino thanked President Obama for his support in the Philippines’ efforts in modernizing and enhancing the country’s defense capabilities, and said that the signed Philippines – U.S. Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement took the two countries’ security cooperation to a higher level of engagement.
Likewise, President Aquino stated that he and President Obama share the conviction that the territorial and maritime disputes in the Asia Pacific region should be peacefully resolved and should be based on international law. He said that they discussed issues concerning the two countries’ enhanced partnership on building climate-resilient communities, as well as economic engagement for the continued growth of the Philippines and the United States in order to create more business opportunities, and facilitate tourism and business travel.
On the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, President Aquino thanked President Obama for his significant assistance to the Philippine peace process.
“Our meeting today was comprehensive, historic, and significant — embodying our shared values and aspirations. It accorded President Obama and myself the opportunity to build on the relations between our countries, and discuss our strategic vision for the future of the Philippines-United States relationship — a relationship that is modern, mature, and forward-looking, and one that allows us to surpass challenges, towards the benefit of our peoples, the entire region, and the world,” President Aquino said.
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