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Magtulungan tayo! Duterte discusses fighting terrorism with Saudi prince

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President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated the Philippines’ commitment to fighting terrorism in his meeting with His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif of Saudi Arabia, who is in the country for a three-day official visit.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque described the meeting between Duterte and Prince Abdulaziz Monday (March 19) as “very warm and cordial.”

“The President thanked the Prince for the visit and reaffirmed the commitment of the Philippines to defeat and break the backbone of terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.

The Prince, Roque added, “conveyed the deep respect of the Saudi King for the President’s strong and decisive action that led to the liberation of Marawi from extremists and terrorists.”

In addition to discussing terrorism, Duterte also talked about the need to expand cooperation across many fields including security, trade and investment, as well as in promoting the rights, safety and well-being of Filipinos.

Following the courtesy call, the President hosted a luncheon in honor of the visiting Prince at the President’s Hall.

“Over a specially prepared Filipino inspired menu, the two discussed the strengthening bilateral relations and issues of mutual importance, particularly in law enforcement, peace and order and security,” Roque said.

Among the Cabinet officials who accompanied the President were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Eduardo Año, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

Aside from meeting Duterte, Prince Abdulaziz met with other Philippine officials over the weekend after his arrival on March 17.