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Indian Foreign Minister Discuss Security Issues in the Philippines

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to the Philippines. His maiden visit comes two weeks after India and the Philippines signed a USD 375 million to buy Brahmos missiles from India. 

On 14 February, the Indian External Affairs Minister met his Filipino counterpart. The minister described his talks with Teodoro L Locsin as “productive discussions.” The ministers discussed security issues and other issues of bilateral concern. 

The Indian minister tweeted after his meeting, “Held productive discussions with FM @teddyboylocsin of Philippines. We are entering a new phase of our partnership. Its basis is the mutuality of national security and development aspirations. Our conversation covered a range of issues dealing with both.”

Thanking his Filipino counterpart for his warm welcome and generous hospitality, the Minister described that India and the Philippines are entering a new phase of the partnership, based on “the mutuality of national security and development aspirations.”

According to a statement by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, prior to the minister’s visit, said that the two leaders are expected to discuss the current robust ties between the Philippines and India as well as future directions of bilateral relations.

The statement also said, in the post-Covid world, the ministers will discuss health and security issues and regional and global matters of mutual interest. 

It may be noted that the Philippines is a leading member of the ASEAN group of nations. 

This visit by the Indian minister is important to build bilateral ties as he visits the archipelago after almost a decade. 

Brahmos cruise missiles were jointly developed by India and Russia. The deal to procure such missiles was signed in January 2022 and it is going to boost the maritime security of the country.  

Chinese claims over atolls, boundary and Exclusive Economic Zone is challenging Manila’s security. In 2016, Manila approached the court over Chinese aggressive claims. The court passed a judgment favouring Manila. 

Beijing refused to accept the judgment by the tribunal. 

Earlier in November 2020, India and the Philippines had jointly the meeting of the joint commission on bilateral cooperation in virtual format.