US ambassador Clarkson meets Defense chief Teodoro

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Clarkson met on Friday, and highlighted the “renewed and positive momentum” in defense cooperation between the Philippines and the United States.

During Clarkson’s courtesy call, the envoy recognized Teodoro’s “transformative vision” and dedication to enhance the department’s capabilities.

The two officials also cited the positive momentum in the defense engagements between the Philippines and the US.

In April, the DND announced the designation of four new locations of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the US.

Philippine Defense officials said this will further improve the country’s capabilities to protect its national interests and contribute to the collective defense in the region.

The meeting also acknowledged the need to focus on priority areas of cooperation such as capability building, maritime security, and cybersecurity.

The US official expressed her government’s “unwavering support” for the Philippines’ position on the arbitral ruling on South China Sea, underscoring its commitment to upholding international law and promoting stability in the region.

The two countries vowed deeper cooperation, strengthened mutual understanding, and promotion of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

In an earlier phone conversation, Teodoro and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III renewed their commitment to maintaining an “ironclad relationship” through streamlining procedures and ensuring that strategic objectives for the alliance are being met.–LDF, GMA Integrated News

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