DND chief meets France's top diplomat in PH

French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz paid a courtesy call on Department of National Defense (DND) Officer-in-Charge Jose Faustino Jr. in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday, August 1.

Department of National Defense (DND) Officer in Charge Jose Faustino Jr. meets French Ambassador to the Philippines Michele Boccoz in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Aug. 1, 2022. (Photo courtesy of DND)

During their meeting, Faustino and Boccoz expressed "keen interest" in broadening the Philippines-France bilateral defense relations by exploring more areas of cooperation such as addressing climate change, humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), information-sharing, and defense acquisition.

They also mentioned the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which is being observed with a six-month long commemoration that was launched last June 26.

According to Boccoz, the Indo-Pacific region remains a "priority" for France as she remarked that defense and security is the first pillar of its Indo-Pacific Strategy.

France's Indo-Pacific strategy refers to its commitment to promote the values of freedom and rule of law in the region by becoming a stabilizing force.

Meanwhile, Faustino congratulated Boccoz in connection with the 233rd anniversary of the French National Day last July 14.

He also expressed appreciation for the military education and training opportunities offered by France to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

He also reaffirmed the Philippines' full support for France's engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)