French president Macron talks with PHL’s Marcos on deepening bilateral ties, including collaboration on food security

Macron also affirms France’s commitment to Indo-Pacific region, adherence to int’l maritime law

(File photo) French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin (off frame) in Moscow, early on February 8, 2022. – International efforts to defuse the standoff over Ukraine intensified with French President holding talks in Moscow and German Chancellor in Washington to coordinate policies as fears of a Russian invasion mount. (Photo by Sergei GUNEYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP)

(Eagle News) — French president Emmanuel Macron had a 20-minute telephone conversation with Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., on Friday afternoon, September 16, to discuss various collaborations on low-carbon energy, defense cooperation and food security, among others.

Malacanang said the call was “initiated by President Macron” who recalled France commitment to the Indo Pacific region.

“The two leaders agreed to continue deepening their exchanges in various fields such as low-carbon energy, defense cooperation, energy, biodiversity, agriculture, and food security, as well as people-to-people exchanges,” the Palace said in a release on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Macron and Marcos also agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations. The two countries marked the 75th year of diplomatic relations this year.

“During their conversation, Macron recalled France’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region particularly adherence to international maritime law and the challenges of biodiversity and ocean preservation,” the Palace said.

The French leader also congratulated Marcos for his election win last May, which the Filipino leader deeply appreciated.

-Marcos commends Macron on his efforts to promote peace in Europe-

Marcos, for his part, commended Macron for his leadership role and diplomatic efforts to promote peace and security in Europe.

The French president has repeatedly spoken to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin since Moscow launched its attack on Ukraine in February, with their latest conversation coming on August 19 following a lengthy pause.

Macron has presented to Marcos the International Blue Carbon Coalition launched at the One Ocean Summit in Brest last February aimed at protecting coastal ecosystems and France’s role in carbon storage and absorption.

He also encouraged the Philippines to join the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which aims to protect 30 percent of marine and terrestrial territories by 2030.

Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., during a press briefing in Indonesia on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 before flying to Singapore for the second leg of his inaugural state visits. (Screenshot of RTVM video/Courtesy RTVM video)

-UN General Assembly attendance- 

Both leaders also exchanged views on regional and international developments, and look forward to meeting each other in person soon.

The two leaders will be among the around 150 world leaders who would be attending the first in-person United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

-FARM initiative as remedy for food insecurity-

“Macron referred to the actions undertaken within the framework of the FARM initiative to remedy food insecurity aggravated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” Malacanang said of the discussions of the two leaders.

Macron announced on March 24 the launch of the European initiative “Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission” (FARM). This initiative has three pillars:
i) preserving the global flow of agricultural commodities, including by supporting the Ukrainian agricultural sector;
ii) ensuring, with the help of the World Food Programme (WFP), food supplies for the most vulnerable
iii) investing locally to develop sustainable and resilient food systems, particularly on the African continent.

The discussion on food security and agriculture was of particular interest to the Philippine president who is also concurrently serving as the country’s agriculture secretary.

Marcos sees agriculture and food security as key issues for the country and the world due to the continuous tensions in Europe and climate change, among others.

(Eagle News Service)

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