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PBBM arrives in Melbourne for ASEAN-Australia Special Summit

MANILA: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. arrived Sunday night in Melbourne where he was warmly welcomed by Australian government officials.

The President is accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and the Philippine delegates for the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.

The plane carrying the President and his entourage landed at Melbourne Airport at 7:15 p.m. local time (4:15 p.m. in PH).

President Marcos will participate in the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit where he will reiterate the position of the Philippines on the regional and international issues and thank the Australian government for its unwavering support for the rule of law.

He is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers Samdech Hun Manet of Cambodia and Christopher Mark Luxon of New Zealand; meet with the Filipino community in Melbourne and promote business through the Philippine Business Forum of the Department of Trade and Industry; and deliver a keynote speech at the Lowy Institute where he will highlight the Philip
pines’ role as an active participant in world affairs and a contributor to the rules-based regional security architecture.

The bilateral ties between the Philippines and Australia was established on July 4, 1946.

President Marcos and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed an agreement in September last year, elevating the bilateral relationship of the Philippines and Australia from comprehensive to strategic partnership.

Australia continues to support the Philippines as the country’s 11th largest source of total Official Development Assistance with grant commitments amounting to USD180.4 million.

It is home to some 408,000 Filipinos and Australians of Filipino descent.

The Australian government’s official guests, aside from Marcos, are Prime Ministers Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia, Sonexay Siphandone of Laos, and Pham Minh Chính of Vietnam.

“Australia is proud to be ASEAN’s first Dialogue Partner, sharing 50 years of mutual respect and cooperation with our friends in Southeast Asia,” Albanese sai
d a statement.

‘Building Australia’s links with the countries of Southeast Asia is a priority for the Government. The Special Summit commemorates our shared history and focuses firmly on the future — on how we can deepen our ties and Australia’s engagement with our region.”

Source: Philippines News Agency