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Singapore, 9 August 2015 – Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario met with UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Philip Hammond at the sidelines of the Singapore Golden Jubilee celebration today.

Secretary del Rosario was accompanied by Ambassador Antonio A. Morales and other officials of the Philippine Embassy in Singapore. British High Commissioner to Singapore Scott Wightman, former British Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Lilly and officials of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office accompanied Secretary Hammond.

During their meeting, Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Hammond reaffirmed their commitments to bring PHL-UK ties to an even higher plane. Both officials discussed preparations for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries next year.

Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Hammond talked about the different facets of relations between the Philippines and the UK, with emphasis on improving defense cooperation and trade partnership. They also reaffirmed the importance of the PHL-UK Joint Plan of Action in keeping track of bilateral cooperation activities and in charting future directions of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Secretary del Rosario provided updates to his British counterpart on developments in the peace process in Muslim Mindanao and conveyed his gratitude for British support to efforts of the Philippine government to bring lasting peace in the affected areas.

Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Hammond exchanged views on regional issues such as the South China Sea dispute and the threat of religious extremism.

The UK was the Philippines' 21st trading partner, 15th export market and 22nd import source as of 2014. The UK is increasingly engaging Southeast Asia with the recent visit of Prime Minister David Cameron to Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia. Secretary del Rosario extended the same invitation to the Prime Minister to visit the Philippines. END