MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday met with Saudi Arabian prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif in Malacañang and discussed various issues, including battling terrorism.
A photo shared by Durtete’s top aide, Christopher “Bong” Go, showed Duterte and some Cabinet officials talking to the prince.
“The prince conveyed the personal and warm wishes of His Majesty and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to the President. The Prince reaffirmed the importance of the Philippines to Saudi Arabia,” Roque said in a statement.
Roque said the prince also “conveyed the deep respect of the Saudi King for the President's strong and decisive action that led to the liberation of Marawi from extremists and terrorists.”
“The President thanked the Prince for the visit and reaffirmed the commitment of the Philippines to defeat and break the backbone of terrorism and violent extremism.”
Roque also said Duterte sought expanded cooperation between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia in the fields of security and trade, as well as in promoting the rights, safety and well-being of Filipinos.
The meeting also comes amid the Philippines’ appeal to Middle East governments to ensure better working environment for Filipino nationals working in their respective countries.
Duterte recently suspended sending Filipinos to Kuwait following the death of domestic helper Joanna Demafelis at the hands of her employers.
The Philippines and Kuwait have since agreed on a draft deal for the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
The President last month said he might also impose a deployment ban of Filipino workers to other countries if investigations showed Filipinos were being abused by their employers.