Biden reaffirms 'ironclad' US commitment to Mutual Defense Treaty

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2022 06:19 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2022 07:38 AM

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NEW YORK – US President Joe Biden reaffirmed his country’s "ironclad" commitment to its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines, a White House statement said Friday.

This came after Biden met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the sidelines of the United States General Assembly here.

The Mutual Defense Treaty, which has been in effect since 1951, compels the US and the Philippines to come to each other’s defense if one is under attack by external forces.

During the meeting, both leaders “discussed the situation in the South China Sea and underscored their support for freedom of navigation and overflight and the peaceful resolution of disputes.”

“I expect we’ll discuss the South China Sea and disputes in critical global throughway. I’ve spent a lot of time with not only the President of China but others about the international waters and how they had to be respected. And we should talk about that long,” Biden said in his remarks during the meeting.

Both leaders affirmed their commitment to strengthening bilateral ties and discussed opportunities to expand bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues, including energy security, climate action, and infrastructure.

“The leaders also discussed Russia’s war against Ukraine and its implications for energy prices and food security, as well as ASEAN matters, the crisis in Burma, and the importance of respect for human rights,” the White House said.