|Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) during a courtesy call in Manila, the Philippines, Dec. 17, 2013. Kerry is on a two-day visit in the Philippines. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
MANILA, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and visiting United States Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the deepening and broadening of bilateral relations between the two countries, particularly in the economic and security cooperation, a senior government official said here Tuesday.
The bilateral cooperation also touches upon people-to-people ties, humanitarian assistance and disaster response and cooperation, said Philippine Presidential Communications Operations secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
Kerry arrived in the Philippines Tuesday, starting his first visit to the country as U.S. secretary of state. He met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario in the afternoon, and then went to Malacanang presidential palace for a meeting with Aquino.
In the meeting with Albert del Rosario, Kerry exchanged views with his counterpart on the multifaceted dimensions of the two countries' bilateral relations -- from political, security, economic issues to regional and global concerns.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that regional issues such as the South China Sea and East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) were also discussed.
Del Rosario said, "Secretary Kerry and I discussed ways to bolster our enduring alliance, particularly through a mutually beneficial Framework Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation and Rotational Presence that our two governments are working on."
He thanked Kerry for the immediate and generous assistance provided by the United States in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, and Washington's commitment to supporting rebuilding efforts in affected areas.
Kerry is scheduled to go to Tacloban City, one of the worst-hit cities by typhoon Haiyan in central province of Leyte, on Wednesday before returning to the United States.
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|Philippine Foreign Minister Albert F. Del Rosario (L) meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines in Pasay City, the Philippines, Dec. 17, 2013. Kerry is on a two-day visit in the Philippines. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)