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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary Mattis' Meeting with Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana

Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:

Oct. 25, 2017

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met Oct. 24 with Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) convened in Clark, the Philippines.

The two leaders discussed the depth and breadth of the U.S.-Philippines relationship, including the enduring people-to-people ties between the two nations.  Secretary Mattis reaffirmed the United States' ironclad commitment to the U.S.-Philippines Alliance and the importance of strengthening defense capabilities through regular bilateral training and exercises.

Secretary Mattis and Secretary Lorenzana exchanged views on regional security and emphasized the need for continued ASEAN unity to uphold a rules-based international order, and a free and open Indo-Pacific.  Each emphasized a commitment to cooperation in maritime domain awareness and information sharing to address common threats to regional security. The two defense secretaries discussed the importance of U.S.-Philippines cooperation to defeat violent extremism and terrorism posed from groups like ISIS and address the threat posed by returning foreign fighters.

Secretary Mattis congratulated the Philippines on their recent counterterrorism successes and major progress retaking the city of Marawi from ISIS militants this past week.  The Secretary offered condolences to the people and Armed Forces of the Philippines for their heavy sacrifices during the five month campaign, and reaffirmed that the U.S. stands with the Philippines in their fight against terrorism.