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PH, France to enhance bilateral cooperation

November 26, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 181 views

THE Philippines and France marked a significant step for the two countries’ diplomatic relations with the successful conclusion of the 3rd Philippines-France High-Level Political Consultations Meeting held recently in Paris, France.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro led the Philippine Delegation and co-chaired the Political Consultations with the Director for Asia and Oceania of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs Benoît Guidée.

Guidée underscored that the Philippines and France “share the same belief and respect for the UN Charter, sovereignty, multilateralism and in peaceful settlement of international conflicts which makes a strong basis for the partnership” between the two countries.

Lazaro thanked France for hosting the Political Consultations and expressed her optimism that the meeting would pave the way for enhanced bilateral cooperation and regional collaboration.

The two Heads of Delegations exchanged views on how to further strengthen and diversify bilateral defense and security cooperation through working- to high-level interactions, capacity-building initiatives, including maritime-related engagements and exchanges.

They also underscored their respective country’s commitment to upholding the international rules-based order in the maritime domain, in particular freedom of navigation.

“The Philippines and France both have deep-rooted maritime traditions, which provide a strong foundation for maritime cooperation. Despite our geographical distance, our shared interests in the maritime domain have brought us closer together,” said Lazaro.

Both countries also explored opportunities to build on existing cooperative arrangements to combat transnational crimes. This includes cooperation to combat cyber threats and, at the same time, enhance cybersecurity.

Lazaro and Guidée also took stock of the results of the sectoral committee meetings held after the last Political Consultations in 2021, and discussed opportunities for closer cooperation and productive partnerships in the areas of trade and investment, energy, science, technology & innovation, health, culture and people-to-people exchanges.