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Foreign relations of the Philippines

In its foreign policy, the Philippines cultivates constructive relations with its Asian neighbors, with whom it is linked through membership in ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum[?] (ARF), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The Philippines is a member of the United Nations and some of its specialized agencies, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM, since 1992), and has close links with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The Philippines has played a key role in ASEAN in recent years and also values its relations with the countries of the Middle East, in no small part because hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are employed in that region. The fundamental Philippine attachment to democracy and human rights is reflected in its foreign policy. Philippine soldiers and police have participated in a number of multilateral civilian police and peacekeeping operations, and a Philippine Army[?] general served as the first commander of the UN Peacekeeping Operation[?] in East Timor. The Philippine Government also has been active in efforts to reduce tensions among rival claimants to the territories and waters of the resource-rich South China Sea.

Disputes - international: involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with mainland China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; claim to Malaysia's Sabah State[?] has not been fully revoked

Illicit drugs: exports locally produced marijuana and hashish to East Asia, the United States, and other Western markets; serves as a transit point for heroin and crystal methamphetamine[?]

See also : Philippines

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