NEW YORK, USA — Malacañang revealed that out of 48 requests, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was the only head of state to talk to US President Joseph Biden on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
This development came as the two leaders held bilateral talks on Thursday morning, September 22 (New York time).
In a press briefing here, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the meeting between Marcos and Biden was significant because the former was the only world leader that the US President had granted a bilateral meeting.
“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,” she said.
According to Angeles, the meeting materialized because of the negotiations “made back and forth.”
“It’s always in the interest of both parties. So I think it might not be really relevant who makes the request,” she said.
“At any rate, what we can see is that the President of the United States has met with the President of the Philippines,” she added.
During their meeting, President Marcos and President Biden reflected on the importance of the Philippines-US alliance.
President Biden reaffirmed the USA’s ironclad commitment to the defense of the Philippines. The 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.
Both leaders discussed opportunities to expand bilateral cooperation on various issues, including energy security, climate action, and infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Marcos and Biden discussed Russia’s war against Ukraine and its implications for energy prices and food security, Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) matters, the crisis in Myanmar, and the importance of respect for human rights.