Australian foreign minister to visit PH on May 16

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) — Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will be in Manila for an official visit on May 16 to 19, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.

The DFA said Wong was invited by Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo.

The two officials are expected to meet on May 18 and "discuss a broad range of issues of mutual interest, including defense and security partnership, development cooperation, trade and investment, and people-to-people ties."

"This bilateral meeting will allow both countries to assess the current state of their bilateral relations and chart the course for further collaboration," the DFA said.

"This visit is also an excellent opportunity to renew and deepen the friendship between the two nations and explore new areas of cooperation," it added.

Wong is also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte.

Australian Ambassador HK Yu earlier said that Australia is aiming to become a better defense partner to the Philippines through the nuclear-powered submarine program under the AUKUS trilateral security pact.

The Philippines and Australia were also looking forward to forge better ties in the agriculture and energy sectors following a meeting between Marcos and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last year.