India offers to help Philippines boost maritime security

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India is offering to help in strengthening defense capabilities of the Philippines, especially in field of maritime security, Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran has said.

“It’s a great honor to be in the Philippines. We have a big relationship with a potential growth much, much bigger. And we do also have a lot of interest in maritime security,” Kumaran said as quoted by Manila Times.

Kumaran noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered to help Philippines set up coastal surveillance system.

“You know, just yesterday, we were [commemorating] the unfortunate anniversary of the terrorist attack in Mumbai,” Kumaran said. “So, what we did in India regarding terrorist attacks is we made a mega international effort to create a coastal surveillance system that can allow us to look into the sea and search, you know, travel before they reach us. And so, what we do is to identify all the shipping that is happening.”

During the state visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in October 2019, among the agreement signed was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the sharing of white shipping information between the Philippine Coast Guard and the Indian Navy.

“With the signing of bilateral agreements, we have likewise widened the path towards enhancement of our engagement in maritime security, science, technology, tourism, and cultural cooperation,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in October last year.