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PH, UK to hold more naval engagements

THE United Kingdom (UK) is committed to strengthening defense relations with the Philippines anchored on protecting the Indo-Pacific region that includes the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Baroness Annabel Goldie, UK Minister of State for Indo-Pacific Defense Engagement, gave this assurance when she met with Lt. Gen. William Gonzales, Armed Forces inspector general, at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Thursday.

Photo by Sgt Ambay/PAO, AFP

In a statement released on Friday, Lt. Col. Enrico Ileto, Public Affairs Office chief, said the two officials discussed increasing PH-UK engagements in consonance with the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defense cooperation.

“The two officials also upheld their common position on the respect for maritime law and in calling out illegal activities in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone,” Ileto said.

The UK, along with five other countries, participated in a week-long amphibious exercise called “Samasama 2023” off the coast of Southern Luzon, which demonstrated modern naval techniques focused on command, control and communication.

The naval contingent under Samasama that also includes the United States, France, Japan, UK, Australia and Canada held sea formations and shared information on maritime domain and security.

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