PH looks forward to 'close and friendly' ties with Biden administration

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 20)— Ahead of the much-anticipated inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden, the Philippine government said it is looking forward to fostering "close and friendly" relations with the incoming administration.

"We congratulate again the incoming President. And we look forward to having close and friendly relations with the Biden administration," Harry Roque, spokesperson of President Rodrigo Duterte, told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday — hours before the slated inaugural ceremonies in Washington.

Biden is set to take his oath of office on Wednesday (Thursday morning Philippine time) at the US Capitol in what is expected to be a scaled-down Inauguration Day amid the COVID-19 pandemic. CNN reported there will be no public parade to the White House, and that celebrations would be mostly virtual.

Malacañang earlier said it is not expecting major changes in its bilateral relations with the US even under Biden's leadership, and likewise promised to "work closely" with the new US President.

RELATED: Duterte congratulates Joe Biden as PH gov't vows to 'work closely' with new US admin

Meanwhile, outgoing US President Donald Trump has said he would not attend his successor's swearing-in ceremony.