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Trump bares $14-M humanitarian aid to Marawi

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By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

 

 

POST-SUMMIT STATEMENT: PRESIDENT TRUMP addresses the media after the 12th East Asia Summit Plenary Session on Nov. 14 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson looks on. (JGLPhotograb from WH.GOV)

 

WASHINGTON (JGL) — President Donald Trump has announced that the United States is providing an additional $14.3-million for the community of Marawi City to address the humanitarian needs of 360,000 displaced persons as a result of the siege in southern Philippines that left more than 1,000 people killed, including 800 militants.

 

In a press statement distributed by the White House to the media on board Air Force One, Mr. Trump said the amount is on top of the $85-M in counterterrorism-related equipment, training and support of the United States to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

 

 

WITH CABINET OFFICIALS: PRESIDENT DUTERTE and members of his cabinet react as U.S. President Donald Trump makes his remarks during the 5th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-US Commemorative Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. Also in photo from right are Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar and Leader of the National League for Democracy, and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (Presidential Photo)

 

Mr. Trump and President Duterte noted that the U.S. has provided approximately $65-M to enhance the Philippines’ maritime security capabilities.

 

Mr. Trump also announced a $2-million support for drug demand reduction programs in the Philippines.

 

During their bilateral talks, President Duterte also thanked President Trump for the delivery of more than $1-billion in United States foreign assistance to the Philippines over the past eight years.

 

President Trump, in turn, thanked President Duterte “for your gracious hospitality, and for all your hard work to make our meetings successful.

 

 

PRESIDENT DUTERTE AT ASEAN SUMMITS: PRESIDENT RODRIGO Roa Duterte is shown at the U.S.-ASEAN, China-ASEAN, ASEAN-Japan Summits, ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council), and Bilateral Meeting with Japan. (Presidential Photo)

 

“I am honored to represent the United States at this session of the East Asia Summit. Our nation has deep ties, close friendships, and enduring interests across the Indo-Pacific region. Together, we face many challenges and exciting opportunities.

 

“As I stated in my address to the APEC CEO Summit last week and yesterday at the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, the United States supports a FREE and OPEN Indo-Pacific, where strong, sovereign, and independent nations control their own destinies.”

 

Mr. Trump urged leaders in the Indo-Pacific region to address four security challenges they are facing, namely, the escalating threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs; unresolved disputes in the South China Sea; terrorism; and several humanitarian crises.

 

He said in his address to the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly last week, North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs threaten the entire world. “I call on all nations to join the United States in ensuring the complete, verifiable, and TOTAL denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

 

“We must continue to implement UN Security Council sanctions, cut off all ties of trade and commerce, end all guest worker flows, and curtail diplomatic ties.”

 

As a rogue regime that threatens the world with nuclear devastation, North Korea has no place in the community of sovereign nations, including in the ASEAN regional forum.

 

On the maritime issue in South China Sea, President Trump said that ensuring regional security will also require all nations to respect freedom of navigation and overflight, and other lawful uses of the sea.

 

“I remain concerned about China’s efforts to build and militarize outposts in the South China Sea. The United States supports the peaceful resolution of all territorial disputes.”

 

 

WITH CANADA’S PM TRUDEAU: PRESIDENT RODRIGO Roa Duterte chats with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Canada 40thAnniversary Commemorative Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Nov. 14. (Rey Baniquet/Presidential Photo)

 

He added the United States is closely monitoring the spread of extremism in Southeast Asia, and the growing threat from terrorist groups, including those affiliated with ISIS. “As ISIS loses ground in the battlefield, we must remain vigilant about the threat posed by returning foreign fighters and terrorist operatives – within our borders, and seeking to cross our borders.”

  

He also offered “congratulations to our Filipino friends for liberating Marawi from the grip of ISIS-affiliated terrorists earlier this year – a victory that the United States was glad to help support,” adding, “all nations must deny terrorists financing, territory, and any form of ideological backing.”

 

On the humanitarian issues, Mr. Trump said the U.S. supports efforts to end the violence in Myanmar’s northern Rahkine State, where at least 600,000 people have fled their homes following attacks by vigilantes and security forces.

 

He also wanted to ensure accountability for atrocities committed, and to facilitate the safe and voluntary return of refugees. He welcomes the commitments by the government of Myanmar, and “we are ready to support the implementation of the Rahkine recommendations.”

 

Mr. Trump also expressed concerns against the use of chemical weapons by “state and non-state actors. He noted that this year chemical weapons have been used by Syrian regime and North Korea at the Kuala Lumpur airport.

 

“Alongside Singapore, we have proposed that all members of the East Asia Summit adopt a statement reaffirming our commitment to the elimination and non-proliferation of chemical weapons.

 

“On these and many other issues, the United States is committed to engaging with nations across the Indo-Pacific region in a way that affirms their sovereignty, maintains their independence, promotes self-reliance, and advances their prosperity.” (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

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