President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (MNS Photo)

MANILA, July 23 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. received Friday the credentials of MaryKay Loss Carlson, United States (US) Ambassador to the Philippines, at Malacañang Palace in Manila.

Carlson, who arrived in Manila the night before, presented her credentials to Marcos and expressed hope that the US-Philippine ties will be “stronger” under his leadership.

“Our alliance is a bedrock of our bond and our Mutual Defense Treaty and other agreements are at the heart of our commitment to help defend the Philippines’ sovereignty and independence. I arrive in Manila inspired by the bond between our great nations and devoted to making it even stronger,” Carlson told Marcos, according to a statement.

She said the US considers the Philippines as its “friend, ally, and partner” and is committed to strengthening its ties with the Marcos administration.

She also expressed optimism about the improvement and expansion of the two countries’ bilateral ties in terms of trade and investment.

“We look forward to working together to develop new trade and investment ties, partner on clean energy solutions, protect marine and terrestrial resources, and help tackle the climate crisis. You have a reliable partner in the United States on all these issues,” Carlson said.

The US Embassy in Manila shared photos of Marcos receiving Carlson’s credentials.

Carlson succeeded Sung Kim, who served in the Philippines from 2016 to 2020.

Prior to the Philippines, Carlson was in Buenos Aires, Argentina as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires.

She also served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires in New Delhi, India, and as Principal Deputy Executive Secretary on the staff of the Secretary of State in Washington, D.C.

A foreign service officer since 1985, she had been posted in US Diplomatic Missions in China, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic.

Heather Variava, who has been serving as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim since September 2021, will remain in Manila as Deputy Chief of Mission, according to the US Embassy.

“I thank Heather for her remarkable leadership and for the outstanding work,” Carlson said in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with her, and with the team at the US Embassy to further strengthen our ties with the Philippines.”

Marcos likewise received the credentials of Thai Ambassador to the Philippines Tull Traisorat.

Traisorat had served as Consul-General of Thailand in Hong Kong and Chargé d’Affaires in London.

Malacañang has yet to release an official statement on the outcome of the meeting with Carlson and Traisorat. (MNS)

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