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The Republic of the Philippines is a close and long-time ally of the United States. U.S.-Philippine relations are based on a shared commitment to peace, prosperity, and democratic values, as well as our extensive people to people ties.
The two countries have a long history of cooperation. The Philippines modeled its institutions and representative form of government after those of the U.S. Soldiers of both countries fought side by side during the Second World War. And since 2002, the two countries have cooperated on fighting terrorism in the Philippines, which has long been a concern in the island country. With the assistance of U.S. military training and equipment, the Philippine military has begun to make headway against terrorist groups operating in a number of the country's southern islands, pushing back against the threat and killing or capturing dozens of extremists.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently became the first Southeast Asian leader to visit the White House since President Barack Obama took office in January. President Obama congratulated President Arroyo on her government's progress in combating terrorism, and on recent steps to renew peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the island of Mindanao.
President Obama also noted that the United States looks forward to working with the Philippines in its new capacity as U.S. Country Coordinator with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, of which the Philippines is a founding member. Thus the Philippines is positioned to play an even more vital role in the region, and to be a key player as the United States continues to engage with ASEAN countries. In addition, a Filipino – Ambassador Libran Cabactulan - will serve as President of the 2010 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference. That treaty was a key milestone in the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime, an important common objective of our two governments.
"The relationship between the United States and the Philippines dates back many years," said President Obama. "It is a friendship that is forged not only in treaties and trade relationships and military relationships, but it is also strengthened by very personal ties that exist between our two countries. . . . And so we're going to have a busy agenda together working to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons, improving the multilateral partnerships in Asia that can create greater security and greater prosperity for all countries."