President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. together with Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles, while watching the amphibious assault exercises that features the Amphibious and Land Operation (ALON) bilateral training of some 2,400 troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Australian Defence Force and the United States Marine Corps at San Antonio, Zambales Friday morning.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has confirmed that he will engage in exploratory talks with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese regarding joint military exercises between the Philippines and Australia, along with other matters of common concern amid the current geopolitical situation.

He indicated that the discussions would undoubtedly encompass the continuation of these collaborative exercises, aimed at enhancing the capabilities of our armed forces.

“Alam naman ninyo, pagka maganda ang coordination, lalong lalo na pag sa military, pagka napakalaki ng multiplier effect and that’s why it is important that we continue that. That’s certainly going to be part of the discussion that I will be having with the Prime Minister when he comes…to visit us here in the Philippines,” Marcos said.

Marcos attended the 1st Amphibious and Land Operations of the Indo-Pacific Endeavor 2023 (ALON) event at Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui, Camp Artemio Ricarte, San Antonio, Zambales.

Australian Prime Minister Albanese is anticipated to meet with Marcos during a scheduled visit to the Philippines in September.

He expressed his anticipation of formulating new strategies, ideas, and agreements to further strengthen the partnership between the two countries in his meeting with Albanese.

“We have many common concerns with Australia in terms of the region and, of course, we also have very many Filipino nationals in Australia. And I was reminding the Ambassador…We have a large contingent of Filipinos in Australia,” Marcos said.

Marcos expressed his gratitude to the Australian defense force for their participation, cooperation and support for all the endeavors that the two countries are doing. He also congratulated all the personnel who participated in “a very well-run exercise.”

He observed the 1st ALON war games in Zambales aimed at fortifying the capabilities of the Marine Amphibious Ready Unit and bolster the country’s coastal defense capabilities with the help of its allies.

In joint statement issued Friday on Philippines-Australia bilateral meeting at the sidelines of exercise ALON in San Antonio, Zambalez, both countries claimed as “close partners and friends”.

“We share a firm commitment to a peaceful, stable and prosperous region where all countries are free to exercise their sovereignty consistent with international law,” the statement said.

The joint statement was signed by Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Richard Marles of Australia.

“Defense continues to make a significant contribution to our partnership. Under the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Program, we are working to broaden the scope of our cooperation and the complexity of our activities,” the statement said.

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