Australian PM to visit PH on Sept. 8

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is scheduled to visit the country on Friday, providing an opportunity between him and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to discuss defense and maritime security ties.

In a statement on Aug. 18, Malacañang said Albanese's visit will be a "significant milestone" as it would be the first time an Australian prime minister would arrive in the country since 2003.

"It follows a series of high-level engagements earlier this year between the Philippines and Australia, underscoring the shared commitment of both nations to advance the trajectory of their multifaceted partnership," said the statement.

In July, naval forces of the Philippines and Australia held the Exercise Lumbas joint military drills in Zambales.

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"The prime minister's meeting on 8 September with President HE Ferdinand R Marcos Jr will focus on strengthening cooperation on defense and maritime security, development and education," said a statement from Albanese's office on Aug. 11.

Aside from the United States, Australia is the only ally with whom the Philippines shares a visiting forces agreement. The Status of Visiting Forces Agreement with Australia was signed in 2007 and ratified by the Senate in 2012.

"The agreement covers practical issues including immigration and customs; arrangements for visiting forces to wear uniforms while in the other country; and criminal and civil jurisdiction over visiting forces while in the other country," said a statement posted on the website of the Australian embassy in the Philippines.

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Albanese's Manila visit is part of a three-nation trip that include Indonesia and India.