Manila – Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario on Friday, April 12, received a delegation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag headed by Chairman Ruprecht Polenz (CDU/CSU).
The delegation, which is on official visit to Manila from April 11 to 13, includes Mr. Hans-Ulrich Klose (SPD), Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Deputy Head of Delegation; Mr. Jürgen Klimke (CDU/CSU); Mr. Johannes Pflug (SPD); Dr. Rainer Stinner (FDP) Committee; Mr. Stefan Liebich (Die Linke); and Dr. Michael Fuchs, Head of the Committee Secretariat.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs is one of the most influential in the German Bundestag being one of four (4) committees provided for on a permanent basis in the German Basic Law. It deals with the classic area of policy and oversees German foreign policy.
The visit of the delegation is expected to further boost excellent relations between the Philippines and Germany. It came at the heels of three (3) other visits of German officials during the first quarter of this year.
From 7 to 8 February 2013, German Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle, came to Manila with a business delegation for the first visit at his level in more than 12 years. Dr. Westerwelle was followed by a delegation from the German Ministry of Defense led by Rear Admiral Thorsten Kahler from 13 to 15 February.
Most recently, German Labour and Social Affairs Minister Dr. Ursula von der Leyen came to Manila on 17 to 19 March to witness the signing of the Agreement Concerning the Deployment of Filipino Health Care Professionals in Employment Positions in the Federal Republic of Germany. The signing of the Agreement opens the German health care sector to Filipino health care professionals who have been, heretofore, barred from employment in accordance with existing German laws. It also stipulates the procedures and conditions for the deployment of Filipino health care professionals to Germany.
During the call, a wide range of issues were discussed. At the bilateral level, economic relations between the Philippines and Germany, German official development assistance, support to the peace process in Mindanao and assistance to help enhance the Philippine criminal justice system, law enforcement and in promoting good governance, among others, were taken up. The West Philippine Sea and other developments in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region were also discussed.
“It is in the best interest of the Philippines and Germany that the high-level exchanges among our officials will continue,” Secretary del Rosario remarked. He urged the German delegation to lend its support to efforts in bringing Philippine-German relations to even greater heights.
The delegation will also participate in a discussion with members of the German Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday, April 13. END