Philippines, Pakistan agree to boost intelligence cooperation
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and his Philippines counterpart Gloria Arroyo agreed to boost intelligence cooperation to combat Al-Qaeda-linked militants.
Musharraf, on a swing through Asia, arrived in Manila late Monday and was given full military arrival honors at the Malacanang presidential palace on Tuesday before holding talks with Arroyo.
Musharraf, who did not speak to the press, is to address a joint session of the Philippine Congress later in the day.
Arroyo said Philippine authorities are to work closely with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has been tracking down key operatives of the Taliban after the hardline Islamic militia were toppled from power by US-led forces in 2001.
Pakistan abandoned the Taliban in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. The Taliban had sheltered Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network which carried out the attacks.
Musharraf and Arroyo also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding serving as a "legal framework to facilitate cooperation and inter-operability between the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the two countries".
The agreement was signed by Philippine Interior Secretary Angelo Reyes and Pakistan Foreign Secretary Riaz Khan.
Musharraf is the first Pakistani leader to visit the Philippines, a key supporter of the US-led war on international terrorism.
He will fly to Indonesia on Wednesday after his three-day state visit in Manila.