PHL, Australia to boost maritime security partnership

Strengthening partnership in civil maritime security will be a key element to commemorate the 75th diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Australia on May 22, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson AO said.

In a press briefing Monday, Robinson said Australia is expanding its engagement on maritime cooperation with the Philippines focusing on governance, systems, processes, interagency coordination, marine natural resources management, environment protection, technical assistance, research, and workshops.

He said there will be cooperation in areas of aviation and border protection.

“Australia supports the adherence to international law particularly (the) United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea and other norms and laws that governs our international waterways,” he added.

With the ongoing situation in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, the envoy said “all countries should subscribe to the rules, the norms, and the laws that govern the free passage through international waters”.

Robinson said the situation should not affect trade activities within the disputed waters.

“And so, therefore, we are concerned if there is any action taken by any country that seeks to inhibit that free passage and the freedom of navigation, the freedom of overflying. And if we see anything that is unfortunate… then Australia will express its views which we have done in the past and we will continue to do so,” he said. PNA.GOV.PH