RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The Philippines and Saudi Arabia on Monday reaffirmed shared commitment to intensify cooperation as the two nations celebrate this year the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties.
Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud at the Foreign Ministry here with the Saudi official underscoring the importance of the Philippine-Saudi Arabia bilateral relations.
Also during the Undersecretary Borje’s call, he conveyed President Rodrigo Duterte’s gratitude to Saudi Arabia for ensuring the welfare of Filipinos working in the kingdom.
He also relayed President Duterte’s invitation to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to visit the Philippines.
And with the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Borje asked the Saudi Arabia government to extend assistance for the development of the region. The kingdom played a key role in Mindanao peace initiatives in the past.
Under President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program, Saudi Arabia companies could invest in the Philippines particularly in Mindanao, according to Borje.
As a response, Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia is pleased with the progress of the Mindanao peace efforts and expressed the kingdom’s willingness to help the region.
He assured the Philippine official that Saudi Arabia will contribute to BARMM’s development.
Borje also raised the issue of Saudi-born Filipino minors awaiting repatriation to the Philippines. The prince said his government will try to accelerate the process so that the Filipino minors could be sent home. PND
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