VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Mr. President, welcome to our home and First Lady. It is good to see you again.
Of course, you gave such a warm welcome during my visit in November of last year and the Second Gentleman was honored to be with you for your inauguration.
And I know the President and you had a very meaningful and good meeting yesterday.
And I’m looking forward to our time together this morning but I want to thank you because the strength of the alliance between the United States and the Philippines is probably stronger now.
And through your leadership we have been able to continue to do the work that we have that is a priority around our mutual prosperity and security.
During my visit to the Philippines, we discussed many issues including the importance of clean energy economy. You and I share a passion for that.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: That’s right
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: As well as issues that relate to food security and what we must do around digital inclusion.
And on the issue of security of course, the work that our countries are doing together as it relates to the South China Sea, as it relates to what we must do in terms of continuing to work together through our Coast Guards.
I was honored to go to Palawan. I went there after you and I met.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: I saw it, yes.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: And met with the fishers there and met with the Coast Guard which the US and the Philippines --- our Coast Guards are working together in that region very closely.
So again, welcome, welcome and it’s good to see you both.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Thank you Madam Vice President and I can say that the visit, this visit of ours to the United States to see President Biden and yourself. You laid the groundwork for it really. Of course ---[First Gentleman] also part of the process.
And I think that has given us the very, very attractive opportunity to continue to strengthen the relationship between our two countries in the face --- in the context of all of the difficulties and complexities, the rising tensions in our region and the world.
And once again, we turn to our American partners, our only treaty partner in the world.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Yes of course. Yes.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: And it is natural, after all the different cycles as in any friendship --- this is what I was telling Secretary Blinken yesterday, like any friendship we go through many cycles and I think this is an upside now to that cycle.
We’re very, very happy to be here, to get this opportunity to speak with you and to have spoken with your President.
So, thank you very much.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Welcome, welcome. Let’s please come in.
Q: Mr. President, how concerned are you with the continued provocation in the South China Sea from China?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: I’m sorry.
Q: How concerned are you with the continued provocation from China?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: As concerned as you could possibly be. It is one of the major issues that we have to face back home.
Q: And do you believe cooperation with the Vice President and President Biden will get you closer to protecting the region?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, cooperation with the United States certainly is just something that we are building upon that has been going on for many, many, many decades. And we just keep going.
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