France-Philippines in joint defense talks

03 December,2023 05:07 AM IST |  Manila  |  Agencies

Gilberto Teodoro Jr said in a joint press conference with French Minister for the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu that they were seeking authorization from their heads of state to begin negotiations.

French Minister for the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu with Philippine’s Secretary of National Defense, Gilbert Teodoro, at the conference. Pic/AFP


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France and the Philippines are considering a defense pact that would allow them to send military forces to each other's territory for joint exercises, the Philippine defense chief said Saturday after holding talks with his French counterpart. Gilberto Teodoro Jr said in a joint press conference with French Minister for the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu that they were seeking authorization from their heads of state to begin negotiations.

"We intend to take concrete steps into levelling up and making more comprehensive our defense cooperation, principally by working to get authorisation from our respective heads of state and relevant agencies to begin negotiations for a status of visiting forces agreement," Teodoro said.

"The first goal is to create interoperability or a strategic closeness between both armed forces, see how both navies work together, how air forces work together," Lecornu said through an interpreter. The defense chiefs agreed to deepen cooperation.

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