VIENTIANE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Mabuhay) -–- The Philippines and Japan have vowed to remain steadfast partners of development in a move seen to further strengthen relations between the two countries.
President Benigno S. Aquino III held a bilateral meeting on Monday with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the sidelines of the 9th Asia Europe Meeting here.
Prime Minister Noda pledged to continue working with the Philippines on development projects while President Aquino cited Japan as a “longtime, valuable and strategic partner of the Philippines” through its official development assistance program.
Prior to the bilateral meeting, President Aquino joined the other heads of state and government of the Asian and European countries attending the 9th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) during its formal opening ceremonies held at the National Convention Centre here.
In the formal opening ceremonies, President Aquino and the other heads of delegations were welcomed by Lao People’s Democratic Republic Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and then by Lao President Choummaly Sayasone. Thereafter, the heads of ASEM delegations posed for a group photo session.
After the group photo session, President Aquino also participated in the
ASEM Enlargement Ceremony where the Lao President personally congratulated the Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Norway and the Swiss Confederation on their admission as new partners of ASEM.
Earlier, President Aquino held three separate bilateral meetings with the heads of Norway, Switzerland and European Union. It was President Aquino’s first time to attend the ASEM Summit since his assumption into office in June 2010. (MNS)