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India, Philippines Discuss 'Practical Initiatives' to Expand Defense Ties

© AFP 2023 TED ALJIBEIndian sailors of INS Ran, prepare Indian and Philippine flags as it docks at the international port in Manila on October 23, 2018. -
Indian sailors of INS Ran, prepare Indian and Philippine flags as it docks at the international port in Manila on October 23, 2018. - - Sputnik India, 1920, 31.03.2023
India and Philippines signed a defense and security cooperation pact during former Indian President Late A.P.J Abdul Kalam’s visit to the southeast Asian country in 2006, paving the way for bolstering security ties.
The defense ministries of India and the Philippines held discussions on “practical and effective initiatives” to expand the defense and technological ties between the two countries, according to a statement by the Indian Ministry of Defence on Friday.
The two sides convened for the fourth ‘Joint Defence Cooperation Committee’ meeting, during which they reiterated their commitment to the 2006 defense cooperation agreement based on mutual trust and rule of law.
The Indian side was headed by Amitabh Prasad, a joint secretary at the Ministry of Defense. The Philippine delegation was led by Pablo M Lorenzo, the Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessments and International Affairs at the Department of National Defence.
New Delhi said that the two sides also agreed to “initiate measures” to advance cooperation in defense industry and technology domains.
“They discussed cooperation in multilateral forums and noted complementarities in their approaches to the Indo-Pacific region…” it said.
The meeting comes a day after the Indian Ambassador to Manila, Shambu Kumaran, called upon Philippines’ new defense chief Senior Undersecretary Carlito G. Galvez.
“Both officials noted the robust engagement between the Philippines and India, as well as highlighted the two countries' shared objectives and interest in a peaceful and prosperous regional security environment,” as per a statement by the Department of National Defense.

India-Philippines Ties

The security cooperation between the two countries has been advancing steadily on a bilateral level as well as within various ASEAN-related initiatives over the last decade or so.
Brahmos, a joint venture between India and Russia, received its maiden foreign export order last year with the export of anti-ship missiles to the Philippine Navy at an estimated cost of $375 million.
The Indian Army's Brahmos Missiles, a supersonic cruise missile, are displayed during the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi, India. - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.03.2023
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India has backed the Philippines in its maritime dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea.
Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, or over the region that it says falls under the "nine-dash line."
The latest meeting between New Delhi and Manila comes as the Philippines and China attempt to repair their ties by agreeing to hold “exploratory talks” for oil and gas in the South China Sea.
The Philippines Supreme Court ruled this year that a joint seismic undertaking between firms from China, Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea, which had been ongoing since 2000, was “unconstitutional”. The court said that it encroached upon the Philippines' sovereignty.
Manila last month announced that it would give American troops access to four additional military bases, a move Beijing says could escalate tensions in the region.