DEFENSE Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and French Ambassador Thierry Mathou have finally signed a Defense Arrangement that will serve as the framework for defense cooperation between the Philippines and France. The two countries have been negotiating the defense arrangement since 2014.
Under the framework, both countries will 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 the defense industry.
“Our relationship would be further enhanced as we institutionalize our cooperation through this Agreement,” Gazmin said during the signing ceremony.
According to the defense chief, 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, he pointed out.
It would also enable France and the Philippines to cooperate in various regional security concerns, including Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR), maritime security and counter-terrorism, among others.
Both countries look forward to the initiatives that will be implemented in accordance with the Defense arrangement.
“Now that the Agreement has been signed, we can 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.