BUSH VISITING MANILA IN OCTOBERWashington, May 20, 2003 -- US President George W. Bush plans a state visit to the Philippines in October, en route to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit scheduled to be held in Thailand. The announcement was made in Washington where Philippine President Gloria Arroyo is being hosted by Bush with a White House State Dinner. Bush also announced that additional military and economic aid would be sent to Manila, saying that the two countries in the future would "work together on military research and development and give the Philippines greater access to American defense equipment and supplies." The Philippines has been described as a "stalwart ally" in the anti-terror battle by top US officials who hope to send a message to the Philippines, as well as other states in Asia and beyond, of the benefits to allies that join its anti-terror campaign. The US president said that economic aid is is an essential component in the war against terror. "It's important to understand, people are susceptible to the recruitment by these extremists," Bush said. "One of the things you got to do is make sure we distinguish between hate and poverty," he said. "It's not poverty that causes terrorism. Terrorism breeds poverty and poverty breeds on terrorism. They reinforce each other. That's why I put them together," Arroyo added. "I came to Washington not just about terrorism, but fighting poverty, fighting -- for the sake of the fight," she said...
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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