Indonesia, Philippines discuss South China Sea developments — Marcos

January 10, 2024 - 4:28 PM
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., gestures during his visit at the Malacanang Palace, in Manila, Philippines, January 10, 2024. (Ezra Acayan/Pool via Reuters)

 The leaders of the Philippines and Indonesia met on Wednesday to discuss a range of regional issues including developments in the South China Sea and closer cooperation among member states of the Southeast Asian bloc.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. hosted his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo for talks in Manila.

“President Widodo and I had a fruitful and honest discussion on regional events of mutual interests such as the developments in the South China Sea and ASEAN cooperation and initiatives,” he said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Widodo added in a joint press conference after the meeting that the two countries had agreed to strengthen defense cooperation and existing agreements on border cooperation.

“We agreed to…expedite revision of joint border patrol and crossing agreements, also to strengthen the defense cooperation including on military hardware.”

— Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila and Ananda Teresia in Jakarta; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor