Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with top Philippine counterparts next week to discuss America’s expanding military role in the country.
Panetta and Clinton will sit down with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin next Monday, DOD spokesman Capt. John Kirby told reporters Friday.
It will be the first time the heads of the U.S. and Filipino military and diplomatic corps have come together to discuss current challenges in the region, according to Kirby.
The meetings come at a time when the United States is looking to dramatically increase its presence in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.
That increase was a critical part of the White House’s new national security strategy, released in February.