MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Jordan’s King Abdullah II vowed to fight terrorism and violent extremism at their meeting in Amman, even as they both acknowledged that it could take years to end the menace.
Duterte, the first sitting Philippine president to visit Jordan, met the King on Thursday at Al -Husseinieh Palace Courtyard to discuss terrorism and the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
During their talks, the two leaders noted that the scourge of terrorism continue to threaten their countries’ security, a major concern main that bind the two nations.
“Again over the past several months, if not the past year or two, the cooperation between our two countries to fight the evil that you have to suffer in your country as we suffer in ours, I think, is a testament to the international cooperation and coordination that is now becoming much more apparent, because this is an issue that’s going to last with us not only for the next five to 10, 15 years,” said King Abdullah II.
He added, “it will take a while to overcome the mentalities that these very horrible evil people perpetrated in your region and in mine..”
For his part, Duterte concurred that “it will take us a lot more years to stop” terrorism. “Our concern against terrorism brings us here. Well, of course, as we have discussed, the arms would be of great help. If there’s any value, it is the friendship that goes with it,” he continued.
Jordan has agreed to provide two used Cobra attack helicopters to the Philippines, which will be delivered July next year.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go confirmed this to reporters, as the Philippines’s Department of National Defense (DND) and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defense cooperation.
Philippine officials said the two Cobra attack helicopters will be a big help in the military’s campaign against internal security threats, which include militant groups that have pledged allegiance to Daesh.
Duterte also expressed gratitude King Abdullah and to the people of Jordan for hosting Filipino workers in their country, and for treating them “very well.”
In a speech upon his arrival in Davao in the Philippines on Saturday, Duterte reported the signing of two labor agreements that will enhance the standards of protection for Filipinos working there.
He emphasized that his government will continue to do its part to ensure that the rights of Filipinos working abroad are protected.
Aside from the MoU on defense cooperation, Duterte’s trip to Jordan also yielded nine investment deals worth $60.675 million.