The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have committed to expanding cooperation after holding their second political consultations at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi this week.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique A. Manalo and UAE Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights and International Law Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Jarman co-chaired the second political consultations held on May 9.
The two officials reviewed bilateral relations, which began in June 1980, and discussed priorities and developments in both countries, as well as cooperation in many fields and dimensions. They also tackled pending bilateral agreements from both sides.
During the meeting, the two sides noted the need to increase bilateral trade and investments.
The Philippines sought to expand economic cooperation with the UAE in the energy sector, halal industry, and Islamic finance.
On the political field, the two officials discussed possible cooperation in addressing terrorism and violent extremism, as well as in combating human trafficking.
The two sides also committed to continue bilateral labor cooperation and to enhance people-to-people ties.
They also agreed to push for more exchanges of high-level visits, and enhance support in multilateral frameworks.
The two officials also exchanged views on issues affecting the region.
At the sidelines of the political consultations, the Philippines and the UAE signed two agreements, namely, the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Sports and the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
The Philippine delegation headed by Manalo was composed of Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Constancio R. Vingno Jr., DFA Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, Special Assistant Deena Joy D. Amatong of the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Policy, Director Germinia Aguilar-Usudan of the DFA Office of Middle East and African Affairs, Third Secretary and Vice Consul Rowena Pangilinan–Daquipil, Labor Attaché Ophelia Almenario, and Commercial Attaché Eric Elnar.