Marcos back in PH from ASEAN meet in Indonesia

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has returned to the Philippines after participating in the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In his departure statement, Marcos said he was able to advance the country’s interest in the summit that bore a “fruitful outcome.”

“I promoted and highlighted key interests in ASEAN, such as food and energy security, migrant workers protection, climate change, and digital transformation, issues that are of strategic importance to the Philippines,” Marcos said.

Meanwhile, the president also called on participating countries to exercise self-restraint and refrain from “unilateral and assertive” activities that could increase tensions and misunderstandings in the South China Sea.

To recall, Marcos said during the summit's retreat session that attaining peace and stability in the disputed waterways remains “a distant reality.”

READ: After China’s 10-dash line map, Marcos says global support a ‘big help’ in asserting West PH Sea claims

He also decried the "dangerous" activities in the South China Sea, including illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, as well as the militarization of reclaimed features.

Other meetings

The president also held informal talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and United States Vice President Kamala Harris on strengthening cooperation in key areas of mutual interest during the ASEAN.

Marcos also had bilateral meetings with the leaders of Cambodia, Canada, Cook Islands, India, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as with the President of the World Bank Group.

READ: Marcos to raise West PH Sea issue during trilateral talks with US, Japan – envoy

A free trade agreement with South Korea that is expected to boost investment relations and generate jobs was also signed during the sidelines of the summit.