The United States has renewed its commitment to ensure security and defense cooperation with a meeting of its military officials with top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday, Oct. 14.
AFP chief of staff Gen. Jose Faustino Jr hosted the 2021 Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) for Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
“We were privileged to witness the advancing level of cooperation, and communication that both the Philippines and United States impart through the successful MDB-SEB meeting,” said Faustino.
“I am optimistic that our alliance will continue to be robust in view of new and emerging security challenges that confront our nations. After all, we share the same goal of keeping peace and stability in this region,” he added.
During the meeting, the U.S. and Philippines agreed over 300 activities for 2021 to ensure continued, robust relations between the two countries’ military forces.
The two officials said they look forward to ongoing, close cooperation in areas central to our national and security interests, including counterterrorism, maritime security, cyber security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
“For more than 100 years, the people of our two countries have shared a deep friendship. This friendship is based on values, to include upholding freedom for all people. The sanctity of freedom was the foundation of our alliance … and is still applicable today,” said Aquilino, for his part.
The MDB was established in 1958 and the SEB was established in 2006. The two boards together form the annual MDB-SEB, which coordinates a framework for defense and security cooperation between the U.S. and Philippine militaries.