NEW YORK (2nd UPDATE) — Out of "several requests" by world leaders to hold bilateral talks, US President Joe Biden only accommodated President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Thursday.
“It’s also of note that of several requests — I understand a lot of requests had been made to the US President — that it is significant that he spoke only with President Marcos on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly,” Angeles said in a press briefing with members of the Malacanang Press Corps in New York.
But based on readouts uploaded on the White House website, Biden met with several other world leaders during the UNGA, including British Prime Minister Liz Truss, South Korean President President Yoon Suk Yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron also met on the margins of the Global Fund Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York.
"Ang ibang mga meeting ni Pangulong Biden ay mga dati nang napagkasunduan, pero na-postpone at itinuloy na lamang sa pagkakataon na ito," Cruz-Angeles later said in a statement.
"Ipagpaunmanhin nawa ang kaunting kalituhan sa naunang statement," she added.
(The other meetings of President Bide were previously agreed on, but were postponed and just pushed this time. We apologize for some confusion caused by the earlier statement.)
During the meeting held Thursday morning in New York, Biden and Marcos affirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral ties between the Philippines and the US, and discussed opportunities to expand bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues, including energy security, climate action, and infrastructure.
Biden also reaffirmed “the United States’ ironclad commitment to the defense of the Philippines,” the White House said.
Cruz-Angeles said the meeting was telling of how the US regarded the Philippines as an ally and partner.
“Being an ally and a partner, that’s evident. We are treaty allies and economic partners. So those are facts,” she said.
Meanwhile, US-based Procter & Gamble Company "conveyed strong confidence" in the Philippines' potential for investment, Angeles said.
"Their long history in the Philippines and leadership in the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industry was hailed by the President saying that their kind of commitment to the Philippines sets the example for corporate citizenship," she said in a separate statement.
P&G reportedly offered to "have a bigger participative role in nation-building" and offered its expertise in data mining and analytics.