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5/24/03 - U.S.-PHILIPPINES FIGHT TERRORISM - 2003-05-27


President George W. Bush welcomed Philippines president Gloria Arroyo to the White House. Mr. Bush praised the leader of Asia's oldest democracy and one of America's strongest allies in the war on global terror:

"Both our nations are threatened by terrorism, and we are determined to fight that threat until it is defeated. Our diplomats and law enforcement and intelligence officers are working arm-in-arm to disrupt terror plots, to cut off terrorist financing, and to bring terrorists to justice. President Arroyo has welcomed American troops to train and advise their Philippine counterparts in Philippine-led anti-terror operations. And she has been a leader in building broader cooperation against terror throughout the Asia and Pacific region."

The Philippine government is fighting several terrorist groups, including the al-Qaida affiliate Abu Sayyaf and the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army. These terrorists have murdered, tortured, robbed, and kidnapped both Filipinos and foreigners.

President Arroyo said the U.S.-Philippines alliance against terrorism is based on "shared values" and a common interest in "advancing freedom":

"To spare themselves, some countries might prefer an accommodation with terrorism. The Philippines has chosen to fight terrorism. We compensate for such modest means as we command with an unshakeable resolve to defeat terrorism once and for all, and with faith in the justice of our cause and our friendship with the United States."

President Bush said that the recent "terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. . .remind us that the war on terror continues. The world's free nations have the courage and the determination to fight this war. And together, we will defeat the forces of global terror."

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