The Philippines and Monaco have sealed an agreement on economic cooperation and environmental protection in a bid to further strengthen the bond between the two nations.
The signing of the historic Philippines-Monaco Framework Agreement for Cooperation was witnessed by President Aquino and Prince Albert II of Monaco after holding bilateral talks in Malacañang.
The Prince arrived in Manila last Wednesday for a two-day official visit upon the invitation of the Philippine leader. His visit to the country, a first as head of state, coincided with the 10th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Monaco this year.
“His Serene Highness and I exchanged views on a number of bilateral and global issues. We are one in agreeing on the need to further expand cooperation in areas of mutual concern – with the signing of the Framework Agreement for Cooperation a concrete manifestation of this,” the President said in a joint press conference at the Palace.
“The agreement will establish a firm foundation upon which further growth in our relations can be achieved, particularly in the areas of economic, scientific, and humanitarian partnerships, and of course environmental protection,” Aquino added.
The cooperation agreement was signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco Gilles Tonelli during the Palace ceremony.
The President, in his remarks, also hailed the young yet vibrant relations between the Philippines and Monaco, saying he looks forward to their deeper friendship and solidarity following the signing of the cooperation pact.
Aquino said he was confident that relations between the two countries “will continue to grow and flourish, in light of our commitment to build upon the friendship, cooperation, and solidarity between our peoples.”
Prince Albert, in his remarks, said his discussions with President Aquino were “rich, productive and helpful” to bring the two nations even closer together. The visiting Prince also invited Philippine officials to visit Monaco to advance their new cooperation agreement.
“In this spirit, I express to President Aquino the full availability of the various authorities of my country to welcome Philippine delegations to the Principality in order to deepen the relations between our two countries in domains such as economic, scientific, environmental protection and the diminution of natural catastrophic risks.
These exchanges could further seal the friendship between our two countries,” the Prince said.