PBBM, Australian PM to hold bilateral next month

August 18, 2023 People's Journal 267 views

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Manila on Sept. 8 to discuss priority areas of cooperation, Malacañang announced on Friday.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) announced the schedule in a Facebook post, as it confirmed Albanese’s official visit to the Philippines on Sept. 7 and 8.

Marcos and Albanese are expected to discuss the possible advancement of their cooperation in key sectors, including defense and security, trade, economic development and maritime affairs, the PCO said.

“The Philippines and Australia share a rich history of friendship and collaboration, which has flourished through the decades,” it said.

“The President’s meeting with Prime Minister Albanese on 08 September is anticipated to reinforce this partnership, ushering in a new era of closer cooperation across key sectors, such as defense and security, trade, economic development, and maritime affairs,” the PCO added.

Last week, Albanese announced his scheduled visit to the Philippines to discuss with Marcos his intent to advance cooperation on defense and maritime security.

Albanese will be the first Australian Prime Minister to visit the Philippines since 2003.

His official visit followed a series of high-level engagements between the Philippines and Australia earlier this year, underscoring the shared commitment of both nations to advance the trajectory of their multifaceted partnership.

On Monday, the first amphibious exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Australian Defense Force formally opened in Australia’s northern city of Darwin. The drills would run until Aug. 31.

In May, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong also expressed Canberra’s openness to providing drones, skills training, and other technology to improve the Philippines’ maritime domain awareness activities in its waters.

Apart from technical assistance, Australia also opened its doors to possible trilateral partnerships with the Philippines and other like-minded nations for joint patrols against the backdrop of changing security environment in the South China Sea. Philippine News Agency