Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has welcomed the conferment on France of the status of a Development Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Locsin conveyed his message to the newly installed French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz who paid him a courtesy call at the DFA office in Pasay City on Monday, February 15, 2021.
The DFA secretary said he is looking forward to working further with France in the areas of gender justice, environmental protection, migration, and cybersecurity as the Philippines assumes the role of country coordinator for ASEAN-EU relations this year.
During the call, both sides reaffirmed the close ties between the Philippines and France and committed to deepening cooperation in the areas of defense, trade and investment, infrastructure, and health.
In a statement released by the DFA, the two diplomats agreed to explore ways of assisting each other in addressing the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.
Climate change mitigation was also identified as a key area of cooperation given the adverse impact of climate change on the Philippines and France’s leadership role in the Climate Change Conference.
In her presentation of credentials to President Duterte in Malacanang last week, Boccoz noted the timing of her assignment to the Philippines as both countries celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations next year, as well as the signing of the Treaty of Friendship.
“United by these long-standing ties and their attachment to the same values, our two countries share the same ideals of peace, freedom, and democracy,” the French diplomat said.