Philippines, Saudi Arabia need more cooperation in security, protection of OFWs, Duterte says
The Philippines and Saudi Arabia need to further cooperate on different fields, such as security, trade and protection of Filipino workers in the Middle Eastern country.
This was the message of President Rodrigo Duterte to visiting Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif, whom he welcomed in Malacanang on Monday.
"The president said there is need to expand cooperation across many fields, especially in security, trade and investment, as well as in promoting the rights, safety and well-being of Filipinos," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, quoting Duterte.
He said Duterte also thanked the Prince, also the Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the visit and reaffirmed the commitment of the Philippines to defeat and break the backbone of terrorism and violent extremism.
"The Prince conveyed the readiness of KSA to combat violent extremism and terrorism," Roque said.
He said the Prince conveyed the personal and warm wishes of the His Majesty and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to Duterte.
"The Prince reaffirmed the importance of the Philippines to Saudi Arabia," he added.
Saudi Arabia is the top destination of overseas Filipino workers.
Earlier, Duterte warned that he could also expand the deployment ban of OFWs to other countries in the Middle East where there are cases of Filipino maltreatment and abuses.
The government has stopped sending OFWs in Kuwait following the death of a female household worker who was found inside a freezer and was missing for about one year. Celerina Monte/DMS