THE Philippines and Australia’s foreign and trade ministers will meet in Canberra next week, just a month after the two states established a new “strategic partnership.”
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu said the 6th Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting (PAMM) will be held on October 10, with Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo present as co-chairman.
“The main purpose of this very important meeting will be to put our strategic partnership into action,” she said during a journalist reception at her Makati City residence on Friday.
“Our ministers will be coming together only just after a month of our leaders’ meeting to get to work and work out what it is that we can do more,” she added.
Yu did not disclose if bilateral agreements will be signed but said “some announcements” will be made after the meeting.
PAMM is regularly convened every two years and was virtually held in August 2021 due to pandemic restrictions.
The meeting comes after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met in Manila in September and finally elevated the two states’ comprehensive partnership into a “strategic” one.
The Australian government said the strategic partnership is founded on the two nations’ shared interests in promoting a peaceful Indo-Pacific region and a common vision for the region where sovereignty is upheld.
Yu said the ministers would discuss wide-ranging issues as Australia seeks to step up its engagements with the country on defense, economics, combatting climate change, education, peacebuilding, environment and people-to-people relations.
She said Canberra will continue to closely monitor developments on the South China Sea while helping the country enhance its capabilities in maritime protection.
“I would say prevention is more important, and that’s exactly what Australia is already doing in the Philippines when we engage in exercises when we are helping strengthen your governance when we are helping with even marine environment,” she said.
Source : The Manila Times