Philippines-US ties to remain strong

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November 4, 2008 @ 21:39 UTC

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Barack Obama, John McCain
International Relations, War & Conflict

Malacañang is confident that the relationship between the Philippines and the United States will remain strong, whoever wins the White House race.

Front-running Democrat Barack Obama seeks to become the first black president and his Republican rival John McCain hopes for a poll-defying comeback. The winner will lead the US through a financial meltdown and long drawn out wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Our goodwill there will transcend the political considerations, whatever the outcome of the current elections in the US would be, this will not change the good relations that we have,” Press Secretary Jesus Dureza told reporters here.

“Whether it is Obama or McCain, we are confident of finding fresh opportunities of strengthening RP-US relations in pursuit of our national interest,” Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said in a statement.

“We join the American people in prayer that the US elections will prove to be a successful and credible exercise worthy of the world’s leading democracy,” Claudio said.

Asked which candidate would better serve the interest of the Philippines, Dureza said: “We leave this to the Americans to make that determination.”

Arroyo is an outspoken supporter of incumbent US President George W. Bush, a Republican. Bush has seen his popularity decline amid the financial meltdown, and growing opposition over the US occupation of Iraq.

Bush made a state visit to the Philippines in October 2003, reciprocating Arroyo’s visit to Washington earlier that year.

During an official visit to the United States last June, Arroyo met with McCain but scheduling conflicts prevented her from meeting Obama. Arroyo and Obama, however, talked over the phone.

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