Joint Statement - Philippines-Australia Maritime Cooperative Activity

Release details

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

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02 6277 7800

The Hon. Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.

Secretary of National Defense

Release content

25 November 2023

Australia and the Philippines are close friends and strategic partners.

In September, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and President of the Philippines HE Ferdinand R Marcos Jr signed a Strategic Partnership between our two countries, which establishes an enduring framework for closer cooperation.

From 25-27 November, our armed forces will conduct the inaugural Maritime Cooperative Activity in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines. This represents the practical implementation of our Strategic Partnership.

The Maritime Cooperative Activity will include Philippine Navy vessels BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Davao Del Sur, Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba, five Philippine Air Force surveillance aircraft, and a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft.

The Maritime Cooperative Activity highlights our shared commitment to exercising freedom of navigation and overflight consistent with international law, in support of a peaceful, secure and stable Indo-Pacific.

Australia and the Philippines both support the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and reaffirm the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal Award as final and legally binding on both parties.​

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Richard Marles MP:

“Australia and the Philippines are firmly committed to a peaceful, secure and prosperous region, where sovereignty and agreed rules and norms are respected.

“The first maritime cooperative activity between the Australian Defence Force and Armed Forces of the Philippines demonstrates this important commitment.”

Quotes attributable to Secretary of National Defense, the Hon Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.:

“The Philippines and Australia are longstanding defense partners. The Philippines welcomes bilateral activities with Australia, and other like-minded partners, that promote and maintain a rules-based international order.”

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