U.S., Philippines agree to deepen bilateral co-operation

February 2, 2023 - 2:18 PM
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III meets Philippines President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, February 2, 2023. (Jam Sta Rosa/Pool via Reuters)

 Philippine Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Thursday a visit by his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin symbolized the Western nation’s steadfast commitment to help allies preserve a free Indo-Pacific region.

He told a news conference after a meeting of the two officials that both sides had agreed to deepen bilateral co-operation and support for Philippine defense needs.

—Reporting by Karen Lema; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Clarence Fernandez