DND officer-in-charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. (right) and Thai Ambassador to Manila Tull Traisorat (left) (Photo courtesy of DND)

MANILA – The Philippines and Thailand are looking at the possibility of further boosting their defense relations.

Department of National Defense (DND) officer-in-charge Undersecretary Jose C. Faustino Jr. and Thai Ambassador to Manila Tull Traisorat made this remark during a Sept. 9 meeting at the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

"The two officials discussed the status of bilateral defense relations, potential areas of cooperation, ways ahead for logistics and defense industry collaboration, and multilateral cooperation," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement Monday night.

Faustino also commended the robust defense relations between the Philippines and Thailand and for sustaining dialogue despite the ongoing pandemic.

"He welcomed the convening of high-level meetings and the conduct of various defense and military activities. Moreover, the OIC, DND underscored that exchanges of best practices with Thailand have contributed to addressing common defense and security challenges, particularly terrorism and internal security concerns," Andolong said.

On multilateral cooperation, Faustino expressed support for Thailand's co-chairmanship with the US of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Experts' Working Group (EWG) on Maritime Security from 2021 to 2024 as well as other initiatives by Thailand under the ADMM.

Traisorat also agreed that information sharing remains one of the key elements of military collaboration between both countries.

He encouraged the sustainment of strong and active defense relations, including logistics and defense industry cooperation and partnership under the auspices of ASEAN.

Traisorat also conveyed Thailand's willingness to provide assistance to the Philippines' economic recovery, particularly in the fields of food security and tourism.

"Furthermore, both officials welcomed the possible cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), as well as the activities/meetings for the upcoming 2022 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit to be hosted by Thailand, and the 75th anniversary of Philippines-Thailand diplomatic relations in 2024," Andolong said. (PNA)