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King Salman holds talks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is received by King Salman. (SPA)

RIYADH: Three agreements were signed between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines on Tuesday following talks between King Salman and President Rodrigo Duterte.
The king and Duterte, who arrived late Monday, reviewed bilateral cooperation and discussed the latest developments in the international arena.
A memorandum of understanding was inked by Riyadh and Manila for consultations and cooperation program.
An accord was signed by Ali bin Ghafis, Saudi labor minister, and Enrique Manalo, Philippine acting foreign minister, in the field of employment.
Manalo also signed a cooperation pact — between the Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies and the Institute of the Philippine Foreign Service — with Nizar bin Madani, minister of state for foreign affairs.
Saudi Arabia is the first leg of Duterte’s Gulf tour. He will visit Bahrain Wednesday through Friday, and Qatar Friday through Sunday.
A statement from Duterte’s office said the state visits aim “to strengthen efforts for the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of the more than 1 million of our people working in those countries; invite Middle Eastern investors to the Philippines to usher in progress here at home; and to forge stronger partnerships by elevating our political and economic cooperation with these countries to new heights.”
During a reception, Duterte was greeted by Prince Khalid bin Bandar, king’s adviser; Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, National Guard minister; Prince Abdulaziz bin Sattam, king’s adviser and Abdullah Al-Asheikh, Shoura Council chairman.
In the afternoon, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Duterte reviewed bilateral relations and explored opportunities for development, in addition to a number of issues of common interest.
On Wednesday, Duterte is scheduled to meet Saudi businessmen at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) to discuss investment proposals in the Kingdom’s private sector for the multibillion-dollar Philippine halal industry.
The president is also scheduled to meet some 2,500 community members at a city hotel. 

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