The governments of Spain and the Philippine signed an accord to foster the reintroduction of Spanish in the Asian nation, officials said here Thursday.

Both sides also agreed to continue the initiative to offer Spanish as a second language in Filipino high schools, Spain's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The memorandum of understanding emerged from this week's visit to Manila by Spain's deputy foreign minister, Gonzalo de Benito, and the head of Cultural and Scientific Relations at the AECID aid agency, Itziar Taboada.

The Spaniards also signed pacts with Filipino universities to train teachers of Spanish, to promote the teaching of the language of Cervantes in professional schools and encourage exchange between educational institutions in the two countries.

Separately, De Benito conveyed Madrid's support for the recent peace accord between the Philippine government and Muslim rebels in the region of Mindanao.

De Benito also met with executives of Spanish companies operating in the Philippines and told his hosts that Spain was eager to participate in the ambitious infrastructure programs advanced by the government in Manila. EFE