The exchange of diplomatic recognition between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of the Philippines started in 1947. The two countries agreed to establish diplomatic relations in 1969. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia inaugurated its Embassy in Manila in 1972 while the Republic of the Philippines opened its Embassy in the Kingdom in 1973.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of the Philippines are linked by exemplary bilateral relations. The Philippines gives special concern to the Kingdom in consideration of the latter’s Islamic stature and its significant role at regional and international forums and the consistent recognition by the Philippine Government of the stature of the Kingdom in various political and economic aspects. Among these is the influential role of the Kingdom in the possibility of Philippine admission into the Organization of Islamic Conference ( OIC) as an observer. Another is the desire and acceptance of the Philippine Government and other parties involved in the armed disputes in Southern Philippines that the Kingdom can contribute actively in attaining peace and stability in Southern Philippines through the OIC.
The Filipino people have a special impression of the Kingdom at the governmental and peoples level due to the moral and religious affiliation of the Filipino Muslims with the Kingdom. They look into the Kingdom’s greater role and affection for Islamic organizations not only in the Philippines but also in the whole world. There are also several fields of cooperation between the Kingdom and the Philippines particularly in security affairs and in the fight against terrorism.
The Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Filipino people appreciate as well the importance of the Kingdom to them as the Kingdom hosts more than a million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Saudi Arabia is a significant market in deploying workers and a major source of OFWs remittances that has been helping to keep the Philippine economy afloat for many years.
On the other hand, the Kingdom appreciates the greater role of the Filipino workers in the Kingdom through their contribution in building a renaissance emerging in the Kingdom by their involvement and participation in the construction sector as well as in the health sector through outstanding Filipino health workers. The concerned authorities in the Philippines have qualitatively provided assistance to ensure the continuous deployment of the OFWs into the Kingdom, thus sustaining the continuous inflow of remittances of the workers.
The Government of the Philippines has a deep concern to develop and strengthen these relations as manifested in the keen concern of the Philippine senior officials to accept invitations to visit the Kingdom. The last visit to the Kingdom was done by former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to grace the inauguration of King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz University for Science and Technology.
THE PHILIPPINES AND SAUDI ARABIA STAND ON COMMON GROUNDS ON MANY VITAL INTERNATIONAL ISSUES.
On the international level, the Republic of the Philippines has many stances which coincide with the Kingdom’s positions particularly in the significant international and pivotal issues and it is playing significant roles in the following issues:
o Interfaith and civilization dialogues as the Philippines is one among the countries that is supportive of the Kingdom’s initiative in this specific field. The Philippines participated in many international meetings of this sort by sending top delegations. The last meeting was attended by former Speaker of the House of Representatives Jose de Venecia, Jr.
o Hosting of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Special Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith and Cooperation for Peace and Development held in Manila during the period from 16-18 March 2010 and participated in by the Kingdom by sending a high-level delegation headed by His Highness Dr. Turki Bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer, Deputy Minister on Multilateral Relations Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
0 The Philippines hosted the Special Workshop on the revision of the Treaty of Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Conference for the year 2010 during the period from 1-2 February 2010 , in preparation for the conference on the revision of the Treaty of Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 2010 held in New York, USA in May 2010 . This conference was presided and chaired by The Honorable Philippine Ambassador Libran Cabatulan.
o The Philippines’ keen concern in the exchange of support between the two friendly countries’ candidatures in the United Nations and international organizations.
*The Philippines denounces terrorism and exerts all efforts to combat it. It entered into several international agreements to fight terrorism. It heeds the Kingdom’s role in fighting terrorism and strongly supports the latter’s proposal for the establishment of an International Center to Combat Terrorism.