PH and US hold Two Plus Two Consultations

The Philippines and the US had their first Two Plus Two Ministerial Consultations on 30 April 2012. Held in Washington DC, the consultations, brought the two foreign affairs/state and defense secretaries together where they discussed policy measures on how to deepen the relationship of the Philippines and the US as allies in several aspects to include economic, political and of course defense and security relations including how the two countries could contribute to regional peace and stability.

Both sides acknowledged that the challenges facing them as allies to include maritime security and natural disasters necessitate cooperative approaches. The two allies recognized the usefulness of having high value and high impact exercises and activities that would enhance their collective capacity to respond security challenges. While the Philippines emphasized the need to upgrade the capability of its defense forces to effectively meet the multitude of security challenges that it faces, the US conveyed that it remains committed in honoring its obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty. The Joint Vision Statement released at the end of the consultations provides the overall trajectory of PH-US relations in the foreseeable future.

The Two Plus Two consultations is considered as the highest policy level consultative mechanism between Manila and Washington in addition to the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue of senior officials and the Mutual Defense Board/Security Engagement Board meetings between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the US Pacific Command.