Duterte, Aussie PM vow to boost ties
Duterte and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had an “open and productive exchange of views” over the phone on Monday on boosting bilateral ties and multilateral cooperation.
AFP/David Gray, Pool

Duterte, Aussie PM vow to boost ties

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Australia have vowed to further strengthen their ties, with President Duterte calling Canberra a “close partner” in upholding international law.

Duterte and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had an “open and productive exchange of views” over the phone on Monday on boosting bilateral ties and multilateral cooperation. They also discussed the results of the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits, presidential assistant for foreign affairs and protocol chief Robert Borje said in a statement.

During their phone conversation, Duterte welcomed Australia’s interest in enhancing cooperation with ASEAN on maritime security, countering marine plastic debris, counterterrorism and cybersecurity.

Duterte also thanked Australia for its formal manifestation before the United Nations affirming the arbitral award on the South China Sea dispute.

“We consider Australia a close partner in upholding international law, including UNCLOS, and in promoting maritime security,” the President said.

In 2016, an arbitral tribunal based in The Hague invalidated China’s expansive maritime claim in the resource-rich South China Sea and affirmed the Philippines’ sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone.

China refused to recognize the ruling, calling it illegal. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly last September, Duterte said the Philippines would not allow attempts to undermine the arbitral ruling, which he described as “beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon.”

PRESIDENT DUTERTE SCOTT MORRISON
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