Top UK diplomat in Asia meets with DND chief Lorenzana
MANILA, Philippines—Amanda Milling, United Kingdom’s new top diplomat in Asia, met recently with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during her visit to the Philippines.
The two officials met last Friday (Oct. 8) to discuss developments in bilateral defense cooperation between the Philippines and UK, the Department of National Defense said in a statement.
Meeting with Secretary @del_lorenzana, we discussed the range of shared challenges our two countries 🇬🇧🇵🇭 face.
We both agreed on the importance of maintaining regional stability and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. @ukinphilippines pic.twitter.com/HoAgWR9zVZ
— Amanda Milling (@amandamilling) October 8, 2021FEATURED STORIESGLOBALNATION
The Philippines is Milling’s first stop on her visit to the region, a first by Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office minister since the UK was confirmed as an Asean Dialogue Partner in August. She was also set to visit Singapore and Japan.
The DND said it received updates on contract implementations of defense acquisition projects between the Philippines and the UK. Lorenzana told INQUIRER.net that the Philippines is acquiring portable bridges from the UK, but he did not elaborate.
During the meeting, Milling stressed that the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) trilateral security partnership was meant to support Australia’s capability development and to contribute to security in the region, the DND said.
The AUKUS is widely seen as an effort to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific, which would also allow Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines with shared technology provided by the US.
Milling reiterated a plan to permanently deploy offshore patrol vessels in Southeast Asia to demonstrate the UK’s long-term commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.
The British Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier—HMS Queen Elizabeth—is currently on her maiden deployment to the region. It recently sailed with aircraft carriers and dozens of warships from the United States and its allies as a show of force in the Philippine Sea.
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