Philippines-Australia Strategic Dialogue held
Stronger Defense and Security Cooperation reached between Australia and the Philippines
MANILA – Defense officials from Australia and the Philippines met today for the 5th Philippines-Australia Strategic Dialogue (PASD) through a video conference.
In a statement from the Department of National Defense (DND), it was learned the last PASD was held in 2017. The PASD is the principal mechanism for dialogue between the two countries regarding strategic priorities and issues of share mutual importance in the realm of defense and security.
Ambassador Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, DFA OIC-Undersecretary for Policy, and DND Undersecretary Cardozo M. Luna led the Philippine delegation wile Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Deputy Secretary for Indo-Pacific Group Justin Hayhurst and Department of Defence Deputy Secretary for Strategy, Policy and Industry Group Peter Tesch.
Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen Barber De La Vega and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson, AO, and foreign and defense officials from both sides joined the dialogue remotely.
They exchanged views on the regional political and security situation and talked about threats, both traditional and emerging, considering the complications arising from COVID-19 and the new normal.
The shared updates on their overall defense policies and priorities and recognized the progress in the Philippines-Australia security relationship and cooperation specifically in exercises and training, capacity-building, countering terrorism and violent extremism, cybersecurity and law enforcement cooperation within the context of regional frameworks with ASEAN-led mechanisms as an important factor.
Both sides expect the successful commemoration of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Australia in 2021 as both sides acknowledged the importance of sustained and elevated bilateral security cooperation in the future of Philippine-Australian relationship. (Melo M. Acuña)