PH and US Hold 3rd Strategic Dialogue

The Republic of the Philippines and the United States held their third Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) on December 11-12, 2012, in Manila. The Dialogue continues the two countries’ close consultation and exchange of views on a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues that reflect common values, mutual respect, and converging interests. The third BSD caps a very productive year in the Philippines-United States partnership beginning with the second BSD held in January in Washington, D.C.; the first “Two-Plus-Two” Ministerial Consultations held in April in Washington, D.C.; the official visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to the United States in June; and a series of high-level visits and exchanges between officials of both countries.

During the Dialogue, the Philippines and the United States reaffirmed their commitment to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, discussed actions that would further invigorate and expand their partnership in the spirit of the November 2011 Manila Declaration, and agreed to expand cooperation in maritime security, disaster response, law enforcement, cybersecurity, and non-proliferation. Both countries agreed to deepen economic ties through the Partnership for Growth, the Philippines’ compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and our bilateral Agreement on Scientific and Technology Cooperation. They encouraged further bilateral discussions on trade and investment and looked forward to the next Trade and Investment Framework Agreement meeting in early 2013.

The two sides discussed cooperative activities in the area of law enforcement in the Philippines. The meeting recognized the Philippine government’s progress in addressing human rights violations and trafficking in persons, as well as the need to consolidate and sustain progress.

The United States expressed condolences over the tragic loss of life and devastation caused by Typhoon Pablo. The Philippine delegation conveyed appreciation for the United States’ recent contribution to disaster relief efforts and for its continued assistance in the economic development of Mindanao.

The dialogue was co-chaired by Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Erlinda F. Basilio and Undersecretary of National Defense Pio Lorenzo F. Batino for the Republic of the Philippines and by Assistant Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell and Assistant Secretary of Defense Mark W. Lippert for the United States.