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GMA to visit the United States 23-29 June 2008

PHILIPPINE EMBASSY
NEWS RELEASE
29/MAY/08

Visit of HE President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the United States of America, 23-29 June 2008

Office of the Press Secretary, Malacanang


President Arroyo will be in Washington DC and New York City on 23-29 June 2008 to meet with key US government officials and members of Congress, Filipino World War II veterans, the leaders and members of the Filipino American Community, business people, investors and environmental groups.

In Washington, President Bush will welcome President Arroyo to the White House for discussions on issues of great interest to the Philippines and the United States, particularly on ways to further strengthening our long standing and historic bilateral relations. President Arroyo hopes to exchange views with President Bush on a broad range of issues, including food security, protection of the environment, the Philippine Defense Reform program, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, ASEAN's community building, human rights, Myanmar, global trade. President Arroyo will also thank President Bush for the support given to Filipino World War II veterans through the US Veterans Office in Manila and the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. President Arroyo will also express her hope for a meaningful resolution to remaining issues relating to our veterans.

One of the objectives of the President in visiting Washington is to personally thank the US Senate for its historic vote of 96-1 in favor of the Veterans Benefits Bill. The President will also meet with the Philippines-US Friendship Caucus, a group which is composed of Members of the House of Representatives particularly interested in strengthening relations between the Philippines and the United States.

The President will also meet with other US Cabinet officials. While in Washington, she will hold consultations with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Last March, the MCC granted the Philippines Compact Eligible status, opening the doors to large grants for sustainable growth. The Philippines was selected after passing objective indicators in the areas of governing justly, investing in citizens, and encouraging economic freedom.

The President will also advance her environmental agenda while in Washington, including a special meeting of stakeholders in the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). This meeting will bring the private and business sectors into this important initiative on the environment. The CTI is focused on three primary areas: 1) protecting coral reefs from man-made and natural disturbances, 2) developing sustainable fisheries, and 3) ensuring food security for the region's inhabitants.

The ASEAN-US Business Council and the United States Chamber of Commerce will jointly host a dinner in honor of President Arroyo in Washington.

In New York, President Arroyo will meet with a number of business and investment groups. President Arroyo will also host a reception for the Permanent Representatives of the United Nations in connection with the candidature of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago to the International Court of Justice.


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