Italy supports PHL arbitration case vs China

-- (ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges views with Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella during the bilateral meeting at the Arazzi de Lilla Room of the Quirinal Palace during his official visit on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

— (ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges views with Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella during the bilateral meeting at the Arazzi de Lilla Room of the Quirinal Palace during his official visit on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

ROME (Mabuhay) – Italy threw its support behind the Philippines’ move to hail China to court over the maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi expressed support for the Philippine move to seek arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea when he met with President Aquino at the Palazzo Chigi Wednesday evening.

Aquino is in Italy for a three-day working visit.

Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said both leaders also “discussed threats posed by radicalization and global terrorism.”

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III greets Italian officials at the Sala del Bronzino of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting with Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella during his official visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III greets Italian officials at the Sala del Bronzino of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting with Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella during his official visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

Aquino thanked Italy for its support for the AFP modernization program following the AFP’s acquisition of Agusta choppers from Italy.

Coloma said the two leaders discussed the possibility of increasing trade and investments as well as making the Philippines as “possible manufacturing base” for export products to the European Union, Japan, and the ASEAN.

Filipinos in Italy drew praise from Italy’s leaders. Renzi told Aquino Filipino workers are of “good quality” and “highly integrated.”

A former mayor of Florence, Renzi said Filipinos “exemplified values of community.”

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III introduces to the Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella members of his official family at the Sala del Bronzino of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting during his official visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III introduces to the Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella members of his official family at the Sala del Bronzino of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting during his official visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

In Aquino’s sepatate meeting at the Quirinal Palace, Italian President Sergio Mattarella cited the contributions of Filipinos as well.

Aquino thanked Italy for its support for development projects under the Philippine-Italy Debt for Development Swap Agreement signed two years ago. Under the program, the Philippines’ outstanding loans were instead used to fund development and livelihood projects to benefit the poor.

Aquino was congratulated by both Renzi and Mattarella for the country’s successful hosting of the APEC meetings and efforts for the peace process in Mindanao.

The President was given separate welcome honors when he was received by Mattarella and Renzi. (MNS)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges views with Italian Republic Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during the bilateral meeting at the Palazzo Chigi for his official visit on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges views with Italian Republic Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during the bilateral meeting at the Palazzo Chigi for his official visit on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III shares a light moment with Italian Republic Prime Minister Matteo Renzi following their bilateral meeting at the Palazzo Chigi after the bilateral meeting on Wednesday (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III shares a light moment with Italian Republic Prime Minister Matteo Renzi following their bilateral meeting at the Palazzo Chigi after the bilateral meeting on Wednesday (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III is welcomed by the Military Advisor of the Italian President upon arrival at the courtyard of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting with Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella as part of his official visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III is welcomed by the Military Advisor of the Italian President upon arrival at the courtyard of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting with Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella as part of his official visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III reviews the Honor Guards upon arrival at the courtyard of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting with Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella as part of his officiathc visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III reviews the Honor Guards upon arrival at the courtyard of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting with Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella as part of his officiathc visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III is welcomed by Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella at the Sala del Bronzino of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting during his official visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III is welcomed by Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella at the Sala del Bronzino of the Quirinal Palace for the bilateral meeting during his official visit here on Wednesday (December 02). (MNS photo)

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