TOP defense officials of the Philippines and Malaysia vowed on Wednesday to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries and agreed that disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).
During a bilateral meeting in Manila, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Malaysian Defense Minister YB Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein reaffirmed the importance of promoting peace, security and stability, maritime security, unimpeded trade and freedom of navigation and overflight in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The two officials expressed serious concern over the violent and terrorist acts by extremist organizations in Iraq and Syria.
They also agreed to strengthen mutually beneficial efforts to enhance disaster risk reduction and disaster response.
Acknowledging that military ties is the foundation of defense relationship, they encouraged their respective militaries to pursue additional opportunities for engagement in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster response, peacekeeping, maritime security and military medicine, among others.
The two official pledged to promote defense industry cooperation by encouraging industrial cooperation and facilitating the development of technology, commercial and economic links between defense related companies of the two countries. They also reaffirmed their resolve to heighten the level of defense cooperation in order to promote mutual understanding and trust and contribute to regional peace and stability.