Manalo in Vietnam to push for security cooperation
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo is currently on an official visit to Vietnam and soon to Laos to establish stronger security ties.
Manalo will be in Hanoi from Jul. 31 to Aug. 3 for the 10th Philippine-Vietnam Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) where the two countries will discuss areas of cooperation such as defense, maritime, economic and people-to-people ties.
In a speech delivered at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam on Aug. 1, Manalo didn’t hesitate to mention the competing claims of Manila and Hanoi in the South China Sea, but said this was all the more reason for the two countries to work together.
“Our geographies and status as major littoral and claimant states in the South China Sea make maritime cooperation a vital point of interaction between our two countries, as economic and security partners. As in centuries prior, this body of water connects our peoples, despite some differences.
Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns, we discuss challenges and explore joint initiatives for the effective management of our competing claims in this area, with the overarching goal of preserving regional peace and stability,” Manalo said.
From Aug. 3 to Aug. 5, Manalo will then visit Vientiane for the 2nd Philippines-Lao JCBC where he will take stock of the current Philippines-Laos relations and explore ways to expand cooperation, including security.