3 Oct 2019 18:20

Russia willing to share its expertise in fighting terrorism with Philippines - Putin

KRASNAYA POLYANA. Oct 3 (Interfax) - Russia is prepared to share its expertise and achievements in fighting terrorism with the Philippines, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"Dear Mr. President, we stand ready to keep developing partnership in the area of counterterrorism and sharing our expertise and achievements," Putin said at a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Thursday.

Putin recalled that while Duterte was visiting Russia last time in May 2017, he had to urgently return home because of terrorist attacks committed by ISIL (banned in Russia) fighters.

"I know you have managed to significantly lower the terrorist threat level and considerably build up the capacity of your security agencies in the past two years," he said.

The Philippines is an important partner of Russia in Asia, Putin said. "Our bilateral cooperation is constructive and mutually beneficial. Our countries have certainly developed friendly relations," he said.

Duterte pointed out that a Philippine military attache is accredited in Moscow. "We have a military attache, and this is an indication of our far-reaching obligation to take our relations in the security sector to a new level. I am really delighted to see this new level of development of our relations. Terrorism and violent extremism remain a threat to our peoples and our national security," he said.

Duterte said that after he had to cut short his visit to Russia in 2017 due to an emergency security situation in Marawi he has always expected to come back.

"I am here to reaffirm our obligation to build multifaceted and strong partnership with Russia," he said.

The governments of the two countries have stepped up their activities along multiple avenues of cooperation, Duterte said. "We have promoted numerous pilot projects with regard to defense, security, and military-technical cooperation," he said.

Officials from the Philippine and Russian security councils have been meeting regularly since 2016 to discuss aspects of defense, security, and the work of law enforcement agencies, Duterte said.

"They've been discussing various matters that influence the condition of our countries. It is extremely necessary to maintain this constructive dialogue and keep strengthening it to build a reliable foundation for developing our relations," he said.

The negotiations are an opportunity to continue the dialogue and plan key avenues of cooperation, Duterte said.