Philippines, India to strengthen ties on maritime security, fight vs terrorism
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and India have agreed to boost maritime security ties between the two nations and to cooperate in fighting terrorism and extremism.
“As countries strategically located in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, we affirmed our shared interest to protect our maritime commons and advance the rule of law in our maritime domains,” President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday in a joint statement in Malacañang.
Duterte said this during Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s five-day state visit to the Philippines to celebrate the two nations’ 70 years of diplomatic relations.
“We agreed also to continue working together to fight terrorism and violent extremism and other transboundary threats,” Duterte added.
Kovind, for his part, expressed commitment to eliminate terrorism since India has been a victim of this just like the Philippines.
“Both of our countries have been victims of terrorism. As you know, India has been the target of cross-border terrorism for decades. They committed to work closely to defeat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Kovind said during his speech.
“As two vibrant democracies that believe in a rules-based international order, respect for international law and sovereign equality of nations, the Philippines and India are natural partners in the pursuit of their respective national development and security objectives,” the Indian head of state added.
The bilateral meeting, Duterte said, will continue to strengthen the “long-standing relations” between the two nations as they also inked agreements on science and technology, tourism and cultural cooperation.
“Indeed, our discussion today was fruitful in its comprehensiveness, strengthening the foundations of our longstanding relations,” Duterte said.
“With the signing of bilateral agreements, we have likewise widened the path towards enhancement of our engagement in maritime security, science [and] technology, tourism, and cultural cooperation,” he added.
PH, India as forefront of IT, BPO industries
Duterte said he and Kovind also agreed to boost economic ties given that the Philippines and India are among the forefront of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries.
“We welcomed the steady rise of our trade and investment exchanges, while recognizing the need to further strengthen our economic ties,” Duterte said.
“The Philippines and India are at the forefront of the global IT and BPO industries. This is a shared distinction that encourages us to cooperate more so that we can complement each other’s strengths,” he added. /je
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