President Arroyo arriving in U.S. capital Monday for meeting with Bush

President Arroyo arriving in U.S. capital Monday for meeting with Bush

OPS 21 JUNE 2008

WASHINGTON – June 23 (via PLDT) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is arriving here Monday from Fresno, Calif. to begin a five-day working visit to the US capital for a series of meetings with top US officials and business leaders.

The highlight of her 10-day visit to California, Washington and New York is her one-one-one meeting with President George W. Bush.

Accompanied by First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo and a small group of Cabinet officials and Filipino business leaders, the President arrived in San Francisco, Calif. from Manila on a commercial flight Saturday (Manila time).

The President has lined up a series of engagements, including meetings with Filipino communities in the three cities in her itinerary, Filipino World War II veterans and US business groups.

The Chief Executive will also discuss with US officials various issues, notably US-Philippines relations, the environment, security, human rights, and other global concerns.

Her meeting with President Bush will focus on outstanding global issues of common concern to the two countries, notably terrorism, food security, non-proliferation of nuclear arms and human rights.

She is expected to thank Bush for his support to Filipino World War II veterans through the US Veterans Office in Manila and the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Filipino veterans are also looking forward to a favorable resolution of the remaining issues relating to their longstanding claim for benefits in World War II alongside the American forces in the Philippines.

Voting 96-1, the US Senate had approved the Veterans Benefits Bill calling for additional benefits to Filipino WWII veterans.

The President will also meet with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates for wide-ranging discussion of the US-Philippines security relations and the Philippine defense reform program.

Another important engagement on the President’s calendar is her meeting with officials of the Washington-based Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

The MCC has granted the Philippines Compact Eligible status after the country passed objective indicators in the areas of governing justly, investing in its citizens, and encouraging economic freedom.

She will also meet with stakeholders of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) a multi-nation effort to push the CTI project spanning across Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.

The CTI holds the richest concentration of iridescent corals, fish, crustaceans, mollusks and marine plants in the world. - Timeline 2008