MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Thursday that strengthening defense and security cooperation between the Philippines and Singapore is the key to maintaining stability in the Southeast Asian region.
The President made the statement as he welcomed visiting Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his delegation at Malacanang Thursday morning.
In his welcome message, President Aquino expressed excitement in the opportunity to host this year’s Asian Defense and Security Exhibition on July 16 to 18, 2014.
“The Philippines proposed the holding of a Defense Dialogue in order to further strengthen our cooperation,” the President said.
He also enumerated the topics he discussed with President Tan on both countries’ defense and security cooperation, including high-level training, educational and intelligence exchanges.
President Aquino said that the “revival of the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan, as a mechanism for expanding bilateral discussions between our countries” had also been discussed.
“The Action Plan provides a consolidated framework for strengthening our bilateral cooperation, covering expansive areas, including trade and investments, information technology, education, culture, defense, and people-to-people exchanges,” the President said.
“I look forward to the implementation of initiatives in these areas, knowing that it will have a positive impact on relations between the Philippines and Singapore,” he added.
The Singaporean President arrived in Manila on Wednesday afternoon for a four-state visit to the Philippines. (MNS)