Philippines, France sign arrangement for defense cooperation

Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and French Ambassador Thierry Mathou formally signed on May 11 the arrangement which will serve as framework of defense cooperation between the Philippines and France.

The two countries have been negotiating for the defense arrangement since 2014, DND spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez said in a statement on Friday.

Under this framework, both countries agreed to focus their cooperation on high-level dialogues and defense policy consultations, visits of defense and armed forces authorities, education and training exchanges and cooperation in the fields of defense equipment, logistics and defense industry.

“Our relationship would be further enhanced as we institutionalize our cooperation through this agreement,” Gazmin said.

The conclusion of the Philippines-France Defense Arrangement is very timely given the increasing defense and security challenges both countries are confronted with.

The cooperation provided for in the agreement could enhance the two countries’ defense capacities and capabilities essential in addressing such challenges.

Furthermore, this would enable France and the Philippines to cooperate in various regional security concerns to include humanitarian assistance and disaster response, maritime security and counter-terrorism, among others.

Both countries look forward to the initiatives that would be implemented in accordance with the defense arrangement.

“Now that the agreement has been signed, we could start working on its implementation. I am optimistic that we would be able to draw up a tangible cooperation pursuant to this agreement in the near future,” Gazmin said.