Defense Secretary Lorenzana meets ambassadors and counterpart
MANILA – Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorezana received Ambassadors Koshikawa Kazuhiko of Japan, Peter MacArthur of Canada and Marat I. Pavlov of the Russian Federation, who paid their introductory calls recently at the Department of National Defense.
In a statement from the Department of National Defense, it was learned he engaged his Indonesian counterpart, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto in an overseas phone conversation.
Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa underscored the significance of 2021 as it is the 65th anniversary of the establishment of PH-Japan bilateral relations as Japan adopted several policy changes that promote mutual trust and confidence with the country as its strategic partner. The Japanese diplomat said they have also assisted the AFP’s Modernization Program with the transfer of defense equipment including the donation of TC-90 aircraft to the Philippine Navy and the US-1H spare parts to the Philippine Air Force.
Secretary Lorenzana said the relations between the Philippines and Japan have remained robust especially with the recent contract signing for the PAF’s acquisition project of air defense surveillance radars.
They also talked about the security developments in the East China Sea and South China Sea/West Philippine Sea. Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa highlighted Japan’s call for a call for the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes because of the significance of freedom of navigation and open sea lanes,
Ambassador MacArthur said Canada has a strong relationship with the Philippines with a significant number of bustling Filipino communities in his country. He expressed optimism the Philippine Cana would increase the military engagements with ASEAN countries just life the Philippines.
Secretary Lorenzana expressed his appreciation for Canada’s donation of medical equipment and supplies in response to COVID-19.
The Canadian envoy expressed concern over the situation in the West Philippine Sea as he highlighted his government’s opposition vs unilateral actions that increase tension and undermine stability and the use of force, large scale reclamation, and building of infrastructure in the area.
During their meeting Ambassador Pavlov said his country is prepared to supply Sputnik vaccine to the Philippines as it reciprocates the Philippines’ efforts in the repatriation of Russian nationals who were stranded in the Philippines during the implementation of strict lockdown measures. He said Russia will mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Russian Navy will do a port visit to the Philippines. Secretary Lorenzana welcomed the plan.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Defense Minister Subianto and Secretary Lorenzana talked about the bilateral defense and military cooperation, specifically counter-terrorism and the need to end the kidnap-for-ransom activities and other security matters with the Indonesian and Philippines’ borders. They reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation for better security conditions in the region.
Secretary Lorenzana expressed his condolences over the death of one of five Indonesian fishermen abducted by the Abu Sayyaf last year. They also talked about the Marawi siege. Minister Subianto requested the military commanders in Marawi during that time to share their experiences with their Indonesian counterparts. (Melo M. Acuña)
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana. (File Photo/Melo M. Acuna)