Defense minister of Sweden visits Manila

(L-R) Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (Photo by DND)

Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson visited the Philippines on Thursday, June 6, marking the first time that a defense chief from the said European country made it here, the Department of National Defense (DND) said.

Jonson was welcomed by DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. The visit also coincided with the National Day of Sweden.

According to Teodoro, Jonson’s trip was a “clear manifestation of the budding relations between the Philippines and Sweden.”

“The SND (Secretary of National Defense) further highlighted the common values and shared recognition for the rules-based international order of the two countries, and welcomed more opportunities in strengthening defense cooperation with Sweden,” Defense spokesperson Director Arsenio Andolong said.

During their meeting, Teodoro and Jonson underscored that the security of the Indo-Pacific and North Atlantic regions are interlinked, which necessitates a deeper understanding of each other’s regional concerns amid shifts in the geopolitical architecture. 

Jonson shared Sweden’s “increasing interest” in deepening its engagement and understanding of the Indo-Pacific region through cooperation with like-minded nations such as the Philippines. 

To reciprocate arrangements made by the Philippines, Jonson extended an invitation for Teodoro to pay an official visit to Sweden on a mutually convenient date. 

It can be recalled that in June 2023, the Philippines and Sweden concluded the Memorandum of Understanding concerning Cooperation in the Acquisition of Defense Material (MOU ADM) on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. 

The framework paved the way in advancing cooperation in the areas of logistics, technology research and development, defense industry development, and exchange of related information. 

Aside from logistics cooperation, Teodoro and Jonson also explored exchanges on a broad range of mutual interests such as defense education and capacity building, maritime security, rule of law, climate change adaptation, gender and security, total defense, cyber, and responsible use of emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs), among others.