January 18, 2024
MANILA – The Philippines has formalized its defense engagements with the United Kingdom for the next five years, which includes military exercises and training focused on the maritime domain.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense cooperation was signed last week at the Philippine Embassy in London by Philippine Ambassador to the UK Teodoro Locsin Jr. and UK Minister of State for Defense Timothy Minto.
The memorandum, it added, provides a framework to enhance bilateral cooperation on “defense and military education, training and capacity building, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, armaments and military equipment, and research and technology.”
For the UK Embassy in Manila, the MOU “outlines the intent of our defense engagement for the next five years across a range of areas, including military exercises, training and modernization efforts.”
“We can expect this engagement to focus on the maritime domain, exclusive economic zone, hydrograph, and UK participation in future military exercises,” it said.
Last August, Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo signed a joint statement of intent with then-visiting former UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly for both nations to “develop bilateral defense engagement to uphold the rules-based international order across the traditional air, land and maritime domains.”
In their joint statement, the Philippines and the UK said they would promote “a free and open maritime order based on upholding the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as the legal framework for all activities in the ocean and seas.”