Defense Requirements in the West Philippine Sea Discussed by Teodoro and German Leader

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MANILA, Philippines: Leaders from Germany and Czech Republic met with Defense Secretary Teodoro on Thursday to discuss the defense requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in dealing with challenges to the country’s maritime domain.

Secretary Teodoro first met with German Federal Parliament member Dr. Johann Wadephul at his office. The two leaders discussed common security challenges affecting both countries, including the West Philippine Sea (WPS), according to DND spokesperson Director Arsenio Andolong in a statement on Friday.

During the meeting, Secretary Teodoro emphasized the Philippine defense capability development priorities, which include area denial, maritime domain awareness, air defense, and cybersecurity in the AFP modernization program.

As part of the modernization program Horizon-3, the AFP aims to acquire more naval ships, attack aircraft, a submarine, and other sophisticated armaments to enhance defense and security capabilities. This is in response to the maritime tensions unfolding in the South China Sea due to China’s aggressive encroachment.

In the meeting with the German leader, Secretary Teodoro proposed the idea of strengthening the bilateral defense relationship between the Philippines and Germany. The Department plans to establish a resident Philippine Defense and Armed Forces attaché (PhilDAFA) post in Berlin.

Regarding the West Philippine Sea, Secretary Teodoro expressed his appreciation for Germany’s firm support of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This convention upholds Philippine sovereign rights within its 200 Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The discussions between the Philippines, Germany, and Czech Republic highlight the importance of international cooperation in addressing common security challenges. By sharing expertise and resources, countries can enhance their defense capabilities and ensure the protection of their maritime domains.

The Philippines recognizes the need to strengthen its defense capabilities in light of the evolving security landscape in the region. The acquisition of advanced naval ships, attack aircraft, and other armaments will enable the AFP to effectively respond to any threats or encroachments in its maritime territories.

The proposal to establish a PhilDAFA post in Berlin demonstrates the Philippines’ commitment to deepening its defense ties with Germany. This resident attaché will facilitate communication and cooperation between the two countries, promoting information exchange and joint defense initiatives.

Germany’s support for UNCLOS and its recognition of the Philippines’ sovereign rights within its EEZ are crucial in upholding international law and ensuring the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes. By standing firmly behind the principles of UNCLOS, Germany sets an example for other nations to follow in respecting the rights of coastal states.

The discussions between the Philippines, Germany, and Czech Republic serve as a reminder of the importance of international partnerships in maintaining peace and stability. In an increasingly interconnected world, countries must work together to address common security challenges and protect their national interests.

As the Philippines continues to modernize its defense capabilities, it seeks to forge stronger ties with like-minded nations that share its commitment to upholding international law. Through collaboration and cooperation, countries can effectively address security threats and safeguard their maritime domains.

The meeting between the Philippines, Germany, and Czech Republic marks a significant step towards enhancing defense cooperation and addressing common security challenges. By working together, these nations contribute to the stability and security of the region, ensuring a peaceful and prosperous future for all.

Source: The Manila Times

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