PNoy off to NZ, Australia on Sunday

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2012 02:48 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2012 10:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is scheduled to leave Manila on Sunday night for his state visits to New Zealand and Australia.
He will be in New Zealand on October 22 to 23 and in Australia on October 24 to 26, upon the invitation of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Aquino’s visit is meant “to strengthen bilateral relations with the two nations.”

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino will meet with the Filipino community and businessmen in both countries.

The President will meet with Prime Minister Key and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae to discuss “regional and international developments of mutual concern”, including updates about the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In Australia, Aquino is meeting with Prime Minister Gillard and Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

Valte said the framework agreement will also be discussed, along with matters on “cooperation in the political, economic, defense, and development fields.”

In Campbelltown, Sydney, President Aquino will be unveiling a statue of Dr. Jose Rizal and meet with the members of the Filipino community.

President Aquino will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan, Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin, and Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang.