National Security Advisor Eduardo Año and his United States (US) counterpart, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, held a phone meeting earlier this week to discuss ways in ensuring “a free and open” Indo-Pacific region, which Washington has long recognized as vital to its security and prosperity.
“During the call, the two reaffirmed the enduring alliance and friendship between our nations, and committed to continuing to work together to address issues of mutual concern, such as ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific,” a statement from the White House said.
Composed of 40 economies, the Indo-Pacific region includes Southeast Asian nations, such as the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, whose waters are critical to the United States’ push for peaceful maritime trade.
It composed 50 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2040, 50 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 65 percent of the world’s population, 67 percent of the indigenous peoples, and 37 percent of the world’s poor.
During the Quad Leaders’ Summit, US President Joe Biden said that “the future of each of our nations—and indeed the world—depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific enduring and flourishing in the decades ahead.”
Sullivan’s and Año’s call coincided with the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, who will hold discussions with diplomatic and defense officials.
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Kritenbrink and the Philippines officials are set to discuss maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, as well as ways to enhance bilateral and regional economic cooperation and strengthening people-to-people ties.
White House said that Año and Sullivan “also discussed upcoming United States – Philippine engagements and ways to further strengthen our close alliance.”