Philippines reaffirmed key defense pact with US in bilateral meeting

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In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty(MDT), Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana visited the United States of America to meet with key US officials.

Following their bilateral meeting in Manila on July 30, 2021, Secretary Lorenzana met with his counterpart, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III, on September 10, 2021 in Washington, DC, where both parties reaffirmed their resolve to further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation.

Following their bilateral meeting in Manila on July 30, 2021, Secretary Lorenzana met with his counterpart, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III, on September 10, 2021 in Washington, DC, where both parties reaffirmed their resolve to further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation.

Secretary Lorenzana stated that both sides now have a greater knowledge of each other’s military and security priorities, as well as common goals for the alliance and the region.
The two Secretaries also discussed and agreed on similar viewpoints and responses to regional issues and concerns.

Secretary Austin praised the Philippines’ decision to reinstate the Agreement Regarding the Treatment of US Armed Forces Visiting the Philippines (VFA), which demonstrates both sides’ commitment to strengthening the long-standing relationship.

Aside from strengthening security ties and defense cooperation between the two nations, the defense secretaries reviewed events in the South China Sea (SCS), with Secretary Austin reaffirming the United States’ obligations to the Philippines under the Mutual Defense Treaty.

The two Secretaries also agreed to hold a Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) to further explore shared alliance goals, and they urged their respective military services to maintain cooperation through the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB).

In addition, both parties agreed to cooperate on a bilateral framework to promote maritime cooperation, as well as to resume projects in designated Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) areas in the Philippines.

The meeting concluded with the two Secretaries reiterating the Philippines and the United States’ friendship, collaboration, and alliance. Both parties underlined that the engagement is more than just a fulfillment of the MDT’s responsibilities, but also a voluntary commitment to maintain thea solid partnership.

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