MANILA, Sept 17 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has reaffirmed the Philippines diplomatic ties with France over a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The two leaders “agreed to continue deepening trade in the field of low-carbon energy, food security, defense and human trade,” according to a statement from Macron’s official website.

Macron “recalled France’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific, with particular attention paid to respect for international maritime law and the issues of preserving biodiversity and the oceans,” the statement read.

“President Marcos welcomed the efforts of the President of the Republic [of France] in favor of peace,” the statement read.

Initiatives “to combat food insecurity, aggravated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine” as well as possible programs to “protect coastal ecosystems in their role of carbon storage and absorption” were also discussed,” it said.

The French president urged his Filipino counterpart to “join the Coalition of the High Ambition for Nature and Peoples, aimed at protecting 30 percent of marine and land territories by 2030,” it said.

The Philippines’ Office of the Press Secretary has yet to issue a statement regarding the said phone call.

The two leaders are expected to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

Earlier this week, the French Embassy in Manila hosted a symposium entitled “Revolutionizing the Philippine Defense Posture with France in the Indo-Pacific” as the two countries are set to mark its 75th year of bilateral relations this week.(MNS)