PH, Australia ink ‘strategic partnership’ deal

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) — The leaders of the Philippines and Australia on Friday signed a “new strategic partnership" to elevate bilateral ties — a framework which they said would contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. welcomed Australian PM Anthony Albanese in Malacañang to discuss plans to turn their countries' friendship into a more strategic partnership.

The partnership deal includes several sectors, including security and defense.

“We discussed strengthening our cooperation on regional and national security. We agreed to formalise an annual defense ministers meeting,” Albanese said in a joint statement with Marcos.

Australia also assured Marcos that the country will offer consistent support in upholding international law and standing against the recent issues surrounding the South China Sea.

“We also have important security issues where we have common views about the need to uphold international law,” said Albanese, the first Australian leader to visit the country in two decades.

“Australia’s position on that will continue to be consistent as we have always been, including recently over issues relating to the South China Sea,” he added.

The Philippines and Australia recently held joint military exercises as tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea.

READ: PH rejects, protests China’s expanded 10-dash line in South China Sea

Marcos thanked the PM after the latter assured that he would support moves to maintain stability and open trade in the region.