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Indonesian Defense Minister Calls on Philippine Secretary of National Defense

The Philippines and Indonesia have set the tone regarding bilateral defense relations for others to emulate. This was stressed by Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin during his bilateral meeting on June 21 with Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu who agreed with this observation.

Both ministers committed to deepen bilateral defense cooperation, acknowledging that strong bilateral relations are the foundation of a productive trilateral cooperation with Malaysia. Both ministers recalled the various cooperative mechanisms they had discuss the previous day during their trilateral meeting. While Minister Ryacudu once more brought to the table his proposal for each of the three countries to establish monitoring centers within their respective territories where passing ships would check-in, Secretary Gazmin emphasized that with the ministerial decisions arrived at the meeting, it is now imperative to examine the resources needed to ensure that the agreed upon cooperative endeavors take off.

With Philippines and Indonesia having arrived at a border delimitation agreement in 2014, Secretary Gazmin emphasized the need to review the border patrol and border crossing agreements which the Philippines and Indonesia signed in the 1970s.

Secretary Gazmin expressed appreciation for Indonesia’s contributions in the Mindandao peace process, first as the facilitator in connection with the negotiations with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) which led to the signing of a Final Peace Agreement (FPA) with the group in 1996 and for contributing to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) overseeing the adherence by both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to the agreements they have arrived at.

Minister Ryacudu was in the Philippines both for the trilateral meeting among the defense ministers of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia held the previous day and for his official visit. Full military honors was accorded to Minister Ryacudu upon his arrival in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo.