PH, US looking forward to trilateral pacts with Japan, Australia
WASHINGTON D.C., United States — The Philippines and the US are looking forward to having trilateral cooperation pacts with Japan and also with Australia — which they believe share their views on regional security.
According to a joint statement released on Monday (Tuesday Manila time), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and US President Joe Biden agreed to strengthen their countries’ bilateral alliance and expand regional collaboration in the areas of peace and security.
“The leaders welcome cooperation with partners that share the United States’ and the Philippines’ commitment to international law and mutual respect,” the joint statement read, which was released after the two leaders’ bilateral meeting here.
“They look forward to establishing trilateral modes of cooperation among the Philippines, Japan, and the United States, as well as the Philippines, Australia, and the United States,” it added.
During the meeting, the two countries said Philippine and US leaders underscored the importance of respecting the sovereign rights of states within their exclusive economic zones, as well as affirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
No details on the trilateral cooperation sought were bared, but Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez earlier said that joint patrols involving the Philippines, the US, Japan, and Australia were possible.
Meanwhile, Biden also reaffirmed the “ironclad alliance commitments” of the US to the Philippines, as he reiterated that an armed attack on Philippine troops, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including the South China Sea, would invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty.