MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday (Manila time) met with former British prime minister Tony Blair to discuss matters between the UK and the Philippines.
In a Facebook post, Marcos said that he and Blair talked primarily about the "optimistic peace process" in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Marcos and Blair also discussed ways to address other priority issues in the global economy, such as food security, climate action, and trade, the Filipino leader said.
Malacañang has yet to provide further details about the discussion between the two leaders.
Blair, who served as UK prime minister from 1997 to 2007, is the current executive chairman of the non-profit organization Tony Blair Institute for Global Change in New York City, which equips political leaders and governments to build "open, inclusive and prosperous societies in an interconnected global world."
Marcos' meeting with Blair comes at the sidelines of his visit to the United States to deliver a statement at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Marcos is also set to meet US President Joe Biden before he returns to the country on Sept. 24.
Blair has long expressed support for the peace process between the government and communist and Muslim secessionist movements.
During his tenure as prime minister, Blair and Northern Ireland exerted a strong influence on other European Union (EU) countries in trying to lobby for the removal of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) from the international list of terrorist organizations.
He also played an important role in resolving the longtime conflict involving the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland, which has been likened to the Philippine peace process.