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President Aquino begins Australian leg of his trip

Posted On 2012 Oct 25
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CANBERRA, Australia – President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges views with Prime Minister of Australia The Honourable Julia Gillard MP and Australian Ministers during a meeting at the Cabinet Room, Parliament House on Wednesday (October 24) in connection with his State Visit to Australia. The President’s visit aims to pursue closer and broader relations based on a long history of cooperation, common interests and shared values between the Philippines and Australia. (MNS photo)

CANBERRA, Australia, Oct 24 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived a little over past midnight here Wednesday to begin the Australian leg of his trip which will be as busy as his recently concluded state visit to New Zealand.

President Aquino started his official day at the Lakeside Lawn of the Government House where ceremonial welcome was prepared in his honor by Governor General Quentin Bryce complete with a 21 gun salute.

President Benigno S. Aquino III converses with Prime Minister of Australia The Honourable Julia Gillard MP during a meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister, Parliament House on Wednesday (October 24) in connection with his State Visit to Australia. The President’s visit aims to pursue closer and broader relations based on a long history of cooperation, common interests and shared values between the Philippines and Australia. (MNS photo)

President Aquino is said to be the second head of state to be welcomed at the Government House. The first had been Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

A discussion between the two leaders was held shortly followed by a state luncheon hosted by Governor General Bryce and her husband, Michael Bryce, at the dining room where a ceremonial toast was proposed.

President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges pleasantries with Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC CVO, during a courtesy call at the Drawing Room of the Government House on Wednesday (October 24) in connection with his State Visit to Australia upon the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The President’s visit aims to pursue closer and broader relations based on a long history of cooperation, common interests and shared values between the Philippines and Australia. (MNS photo)

From there, President Aquino proceeded to the Parliament House for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard at her office before meeting with other Australian ministers.

Later in the afternoon, President Aquino laid a wreath at the Australian War Memorial and toured selected galleries.

President Benigno S. Aquino III, accompanied by Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC CVO, greets Australia senior officials during the ceremonial welcome at the Lakeside Lawn of the Government House here on Wednesday (October 24) in connection with his State Visit to Australia upon the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The President’s visit aims to pursue closer and broader relations based on a long history of cooperation, common interests and shared values between the Philippines and Australia. (MNS photo)

The President then granted an interview with Ms. Kathy Novak, a senior correspondent of the Special Broadcasting Service, before driving back to the Parliament House for the official dinner hosted by Prime Minister Gillard.

President Aquino wrapped up his first day of activities here with the usual coffee meeting with the Philippine media held at the Hyatt Hotel where he answered burning questions from reporters on various issues

– President Benigno S. Aquino III reviews the Honor Guards during the ceremonial welcome at the Lakeside Lawn of the Government House here on Wednesday (October 24) in connection with his State Visit to Australia upon the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The President’s visit aims to pursue closer and broader relations based on a long history of cooperation, common interests and shared values between the Philippines and Australia.(MNS photo)

The next two days of President Aquino’s state visit here will be spent with meetings with various company executives and other leaders including the Premier of New South Wales Barry O’Farrell in Sydney.

The President will deliver a keynote address at the Philippines-Australia Business Forum and meet with top CEOs in a roundtable setting.

President Benigno S. Aquino III, accompanied by Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC CVO, honors the colors during the ceremonial welcome at the Lakeside Lawn of the Government House here on Wednesday (October 24) in connection with his State Visit to Australia upon the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The President’s visit aims to pursue closer and broader relations based on a long history of cooperation, common interests and shared values between the Philippines and Australia. In Canberra, the President Aquino will meet with PM Gillard and expected to update each other on national developments, including the signing of the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Discussions will likewise focus on cooperation in the political, economic, defense, and development fields, and on the future direction of Philippine-Australian bilateral relations. Regional and international issues will also be taken up. The Philippines is also among the top 10 source countries for recent migrant arrivals in Australia where there are about 224,000 Filipinos. (MNS photo)

He will then address The Asia Society of Australia and the Australia Philippine Business Council before proceeding to Campbelltown to unveil a statue of Dr. Jose Rizal.

The President will also grace a Filipino Community gathering where he is expected to encourage them to help raise the profile of the Philippines by being knowledgeable and competent sources of information on their home country, be it on history and culture, business, and tourism, among others.

President Benigno S. Aquino III greets Australian Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Bill Twedell; Acting Deputy Official Secretary to the Governor-General Chandy Paul, representing the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia; and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ceremonial and Hospitality Branch Assistant Secretary Frank Leverett upon his arrival at the Defence Establishment Fairbairn in Canberra on Wednesday (October 24, 2012) during his State Visit to Australia upon the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. (MNS photo)

President Aquino traveled for more than three hours from Wellington, New Zealand on his way here via a chartered Philippine Airlines flight PR001.

During the flight, the President managed to engage his fellow passengers in a brief and candid conversation about his experiences in New Zealand particularly the traditional Maori welcome or ‘powhiri’ which he seemed to have enjoyed and found most memorable. (MNS)

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