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PH and Australia agree to strengthen their defense cooperation.

The visit of Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles to the Philippines highlights the commitment of the two countries to advancing their defense cooperation.

“We welcome the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense to the Philippines on his official visit. This trip has shown how dedicated the Australian and Philippine governments are to strengthening bilateral defense ties between their countries “said Department of National Defense (DND) officer-in-charge Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday at a joint press conference in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

He also valued the mutually beneficial and robust foundation of Australia’s relations with countries in Southeast Asia.

Australia’s relationships in the region, according to Deputy Prime Minister Marles, are “based on history, personal contacts, and shared interest,” Galvez remarked.

According to the DND chairman, Australia, and the Philippines are eager to advance their relationship as decided by the two countries leaders in November.

“I discussed defense cooperation between our nations with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense during our meeting. We specifically remember how well the venues for bilateral discussion from the previous year were run, as well as the different engagements across a range of collaborative areas “Added he.

Galvez said counterterrorism and maritime security continue to be the “central pillars” of the two countries bilateral defense relations, despite their agreement to look into additional areas of collaboration.

“We reiterate the necessity of continuing our joint efforts to uphold a free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific Region. Also, the Philippines expressed its gratitude once more to Australia for continuing to support the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal Award and the ongoing Covid (-19) epidemic “Added he.

The DND director recalled that the Australian government provided more than 8 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine during that time.

Galvez added that in order to achieve collective security, both the Philippines and Australia thought it was crucial for like-minded security partners to work together.

“In the Asia Pacific and Indo-Pacific area, where countries could freely exercise their sovereign rights while pursuing stability and prosperity. I look forward to the next meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Marles in Australia, a homecoming for me considering I really love Australia with my family, and exploring joint patrols and joint patrols and joint training with friends and allied countries, building on the consensus between our defense departments to regularly meet through the establishment of a Defense Ministerial Meeting (DMM) “Added he,

In the meantime, Marles claimed that relations between Manila and Canberra have a “feeling of friendship.”

“Deep interpersonal relationships have existed between Australia and the Philippines for a very long time. The Filipino community in our country today has a population of 400,000, making it one of the largest in the nation. This means that a huge number of individuals from both of our countries have close ties to one another, and these ties support feelings of trust, affection, and loyalty “Added he.

He added that there is a strong link between the two countries that may develop further.

The strategic alliance between our two countries will be signed later this year, following the initial meeting between Prime Minister Anthony Albenese and President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in November of last year, he continued.

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