US Marine Corps chief meets with Philippine counterparts in first visit since 2017

US Marine Corps chief meets with Philippine counterparts in first visit since 2017
U.S. Marine Corps Gen. David Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps, is greeted by an honors ceremony at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Headquarters, after arriving in Manila on September 10.
US Embassy / Released

MANILA, Philippines — The commandant of the United States Marine Corps recently met with Philippine military leaders to discuss the importance of the decades-long alliance between Manila and Washington, the US Embassy said on Monday.

Gen. David Berger, commandant of the US Marine Corps, visited Manila on September 10 to 11.

Berger met with Armed Forces of the Philippines vice chief Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria, Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Rear Adm. Adeluis Bordado and Philippine Marine Corps commandant Maj. Gen. Ariel Casulitan.

“This is a very important trip for me to visit leaders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in person,” Berger said in a statement.

The US Marines chief also met with the US Embassy leadership, including American marines assigned to the embassy.

Berger's visit to the country is the first of a US Marine Corps commandant since August 2017, according to the US Embassy.

During his visit to the country, Berger said the Philippines-US alliance is important in "maintaining peace and stability in the region, while improving interoperability to respond to crisis and contingencies."

In his meeting with Philippine counterpart Gen. Caculitan, Berger also talked about opportunities for future engagements.

This included future bilateral exercises, including Kamandag and Balikatan.

“Our defense cooperation has been the cornerstone of 70 years of close and strengthening partnership," Berger said. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 17, 2021 - 2:38pm

A thread of major developments in the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States from January to December 2021. (Presidential photo/Joey Dalumpines and AFP/Angela Weiss)

September 17, 2021 - 2:38pm

The US Embassy in Manila welcomes a new chargé d’affaires, which will serve as the embassy's official representative in the absence of an ambassador.

Heather Variava — former chargé d’affaires at the US Mission to Indonesia — succeeds former Deputy Chief of Mission John Law.

"I look forward to strengthening the broad and deep relationships we have here. While we are not yet free of the pandemic, I am committed to partnering with the government and people of the Philippines to face challenges together," Variava says.

September 13, 2021 - 3:00pm

For the first time since 2017, the commandant of the US Marine Corps visited Manila to emphasize the alliance between the Philippines and the United States.

US Marine Corps Gen. David Berger met with senior Philippine military officials and US Embassy leadership from September 10 to 11, the US Embassy says in a statetement released Monday.

“This is a very important trip for me to visit leaders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in person,” Berger says.

September 10, 2021 - 9:35am

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirm the importance of the Philippines-United States bilateral relationship, the US Department of State says.

The two top diplomats also highlighted the 70th anniversary of the alliance and the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

"Secretary Blinken also underscored the importance of freedom of navigation and respect for international law in the South China Sea, and reiterated calls on the People’s Republic of China to abide by the 2016 arbitration ruling issued pursuant to the Law of the Sea Convention," the US state department spokesperson Ned Price says.

July 29, 2021 - 6:23pm

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin lands in Manila as part of his trip to Southeast Asia.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said the Pentagon chief will have a formal meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss several issues concerning security and relations.

These include the Visiting Forces Agreement and the West Philippine Sea.

July 28, 2021 - 10:06pm

President Rodrigo Duterte will meet United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday as part of the latter's official visit to Southeast Asia.

Austin's visit to Manila highlights the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the US, the Office of the President says in a statement.

Executive Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez and Presidential Assistant on Foregin Affairs Robert Borje are also expected to attent the courtesy call.

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