Sat Nov 18 2017, 18:45:56 +03

Philippines`s Duterte meets King Salman, discussed ties

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(Riyadh-AlummahWorld-Rajab 15,1438H) The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud held official talks with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of Republic of The Philippines at Rawdhat Khuraim in Riyadh Region today.

During the meeting, bilateral relations and aspects of cooperation between the two friendly countries and ways of enhancing them in all fields were reviewed and the overall situations at the international arena were discussed.

Following the meeting, an agreement, memorandum of consultation and cooperation program between the governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of The Philippines were signed in the attendance of the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques and the President of The Philippines.

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An agreement in the field of recruiting public laborers between the Ministry of labor and Social Development of the Kingdom and the Ministry of Labor and Employment of The Philippines was signed by Minster of Labor and Social Development Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafis on behalf of the Kingdom and the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo on behalf of the Filipino side.

A memorandum of political consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs in the two countries as well as a cooperation program between Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies and the Foreign Service Institute of The Philippines were singed by Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani, minister of state for foreign affairs on behalf of the Saudi side and the acting foreign minister Enrique Manalo on behalf of his country.

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The meeting and the signing ceremonies were attended by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of National Guard; Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense; Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, minister of state and member of the cabinet; Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, minister of state and member of the cabinet; Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi, minister of culture and information; Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, minister of finance, Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafis, minister of labor and social development, who services as guide minister of the visiting delegation; Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani, minister of state for foreign affairs; and Dr. Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Baseeri, Saudi ambassador to The Philippines.
On the Filipino side, the event was attended by the President's accompanying delegation.

President Duterte  also meets Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir.
During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations and discussed the latest developments in the region.

Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos work as nurses, domestic helpers, drivers, waiters and technicians. The Middle East is the second largest source of remittances, with Filipinos sending back home some $7.5 billion in wages from the region last year. Local media report there are 760,000 Filipino workers living in Saudi Arabia, though that figure could be higher.

Before embarking on his weeklong tour of the Gulf, which includes stops in Qatar and Bahrain next, Duterte said the region is home to the largest group of Filipinos working overseas. More than 1 million Filipinos reside and work in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. Hundreds of thousands also work in the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kuwait.

President Duterte is looking to strengthen trade ties with the Gulf states while seeking stronger job opportunities for Philippine as the Middle East is second home to hundreds of thousands Philippine`s expatriates. The country expatriates are one of the largest sources of income from the abroad.