President Duterte discussed the maritime dispute over the South China Sea during his bilateral talks with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Sunday.
Duterte met Turnbull after the President hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations 50th Anniversary Special Gala Dinner for world leaders and more than 1,200 guests at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
The Chief Executive thanked Turnbull for coming over to the Philippines and holding bilateral talks. He assured the Prime Minister of strong relations between the two countries.
“I assure you that the relations between the two countries are strong, as always been, no problem for that. And we continue to cooperate in our alliances,” Duterte said.
Duterte also held a bilateral meeting with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah before the gala dinner.
The Chief Executive said the Philippines is glad to have Bolkiah again in Manila. “I consider it an honor for my country and for myself that you have recognized the importance of our mutual relations, the strong bonds between our two countries,” Duterte told Bolkiah.
Duterte pledged to help fellow ASEAN countries in distress due to terrorism and the security concerns in the Korean Peninsula.
He said the North Korean issue should be resolved through dialogue and must not affect the lives of people in neighboring countries.
Duterte noted that China holds the key in resolving the rising tension in the Korean Peninsula.
He thanked Bolkiah for hosting a number of Filipinos in Brunei and treating them as their own. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)