WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The United States and the Philippines are set to intensify their collaboration in areas including counter-terrorism, countering transnational drug trafficking and maritime security, said a joint statement released by the U.S. State Department on Friday.
The statement follows a bilateral strategic dialogue held in Washington on Thursday and Friday, during which the two sides discussed their shared concerns about security challenges and expressed their desire to strengthen regional cooperation under the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership.
Senior officials reaffirmed their commitment to deepening collaboration in areas including maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, cybersecurity, countering transnational drug trafficking, and countering terrorism, said the statement.
The United States congratulated the Philippines on defeating the Islamic States-supported terrorists in Mindanao and vowed to continue to support the fight against terrorism.
The Philippines has been working on strengthening its long-term ability to combat terrorist threats and prevent the spread of the IS militants to the region. In the dialogue, The United States and the Philippines also eyed to expand bilateral trade, including through exploring a potential Free Trade Agreement, according to the statement.
Both sides noted the substantive discussions on cooperating in areas such as science and technology, agriculture and fisheries, and health and environment.