Phl, India upscale defense, security ties

The Philippines and India will bring their ties to a new height as they agreed to build on the gains in their defense and security partnership.

This was finalized in the recently concluded fourth Philippines-India Strategic Dialogue last week, which was hosted by the Philippines at the Department of Foreign Affairs — the first face-to-face dialogue since the last meeting in 2017 in New Delhi.

Leading the Philippine delegation was Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs, Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro, while the Indian delegation was headed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary (South) Saurabh Kumar.

The officials discussed the growing cooperation between their countries on defense and security, as well as in a maritime partnership. They also shared their views about the direction of Philippine-Indian cooperation on strategic matters in the next few years.

Other topics discussed in the meeting included counter-terrorism, disaster risk reduction and management, transnational crime, intelligence exchange and procurement of defense equipment, as well as the impact of regional and global developments on the two countries and the region.

A day before the Strategic Dialogue, the delegations convened the 13th Philippines-India Policy Consultations, which took a broader view of the bilateral relationship, and tackled political, economic, and people-to-people cooperation.

Both sides agreed to scale up cooperation in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, science and technology, culture, education, and tourism. The two officials also discussed new areas of partnership in financial technology, space cooperation, development cooperation, and renewable energy.

The Philippines and India likewise agreed to fast-track preparations for a bilateral Maritime Dialogue. Initially, the Strategic Dialogue was known as the Security Dialogue, in a bid to boost their maritime security and marine economy.

Kasangga exercises
Meanwhile, nearly 400 personnel from the First Scout Ranger Regiment of the Philippine Army will join military exercises with the Land Mobile Training Team of the Australian Army.

The two-month Kasanga exercises aimed at boosting the defense ties of the Philippines and Australia, officially commenced Monday at the Camp Pablo Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan.

The bilateral exercise targets to further enhance the interoperability of the two units and will run until the end of October this year.

FSRR Commander Brig. Gen. Freddie de la Cruz said the
two-month training exercise will focus on urban combat and jungle and mountain operations training.

It is also part of the Philippine Army’s leadership thrust to to enhance the individual skills of soldiers and unit capabilities.

and Lade Kabagani

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *