PHL, Cambodia hold 1st defense cooperation meeting

As part of efforts to boost defense ties, the Philippines and Cambodia held the Inaugural Philippines-Cambodia Joint Defense Cooperation Committee (JDCC) Meeting last March 11 to 14 in Phnom Penh.

The meeting facilitated the exchange of views on regional defense and security issues such as cyber security, counterterrorism and violent extremism, and peacekeeping operations, among others, Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement Tuesday. The agenda also highlighted matters on the Philippines-Cambodia bilateral defense relations and finalized various engagement activities between the armed forces of both countries.

The meeting was co-chaired by Defense Undersecretary Ricardo A. David Jr. and General Neang Phat, Secretary of State of the Ministry of National Defense of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The conference was an offshoot of the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defense Cooperation between the Philippines and Cambodia. Both officials expressed hope that the inaugural meeting was a step forward to further strengthen defense relations between the two countries.

Phat emphasized the importance of the first meeting as it marks the positive development of bilateral relations between Manila and Phnom Penh. “I believe the JDCC is really important for our parties to work together to develop our Defense Cooperation Program and Development Plan, and I believe that our troops and our people are fully committed to the meeting and to fulfill all the requirements,” Phat said.

Meanwhile, David conveyed his appreciation to the Cambodian Ministry of National Defense, on behalf of the government and the people of the Philippines and Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, for the successful and fruitful conduct of the conference.

“We are pleased that we are able to advance our activities and engagements. We hope that this will be sustained and enhanced, to ensure a more meaningful contribution to regional peace and prosperity,” he added. The second JDCC meeting will be held in Manila next year. PNA