International cooperation crucial to resolving pandemic: Cayetano

Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday urged global leaders to maximize their relationships and resources towards genuine international cooperation.

In an online conference on May 25 dedicated to the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relations of the Republic of the Philippines and the Russian Federation, gave as example the strong bilateral ties between the Philippines and Russia that is helping the Philippines in its fight against COVID-19.

“Nothing is too small or too big among friends, and this is what I want to highlight with Russia,” he said.

“We took out any barriers towards discussing any issue that concerned both parties, specifically COVID-19 assistance. The Russian government always gave us more than enough time to develop personal relationships,” he added.

Cayetano featured the exponential growth in Philippine-Russian relations over the last five years, saying it has grown to be more intimate and centered on camaraderie.

“The emphasis is on relationships. Our two presidents have made it more special by having a desire for a more intimate interaction between themselves which translated to both the Filipino and Russian people,” he said.

Cayetano also proposed to the Russian delegation key points to make the bilateral ties stronger and more beneficial.

“Looking back at our relationship, we can grow much more in the sectors of agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and mineral resource development. Russia has offered us much in these areas, and I am looking forward to seeing these gains in the next five years,” he said.

Before serving as House Speaker, Cayetano served under the Duterte Cabinet as Secretary of Foreign Affairs from May 2017 to October 2018. ###