Remarks of Secretary of Voltaire Gazmin at the joint press conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel

Remarks of Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin:During the joint press confenrence with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
[Delivered at MalacaƱan Palace on August 30, 2013]
Members of the press, ladies, and gentlemen:
A pleasant good day to all of you.
Today, we mark another milestone in Philippines-U.S. defense relations. The visit of U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to the Philippines coincides with an important date for Philippines-U.S. defense relations for it was on 30 August 1951 that the Mutual Defense Treaty was signed. Today, therefore, is the 62nd anniversary of the Treaty.
The defense relations between our two countries have evolved since then. From military-to-military relations between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. Pacific Command, we have begun conducting policy consultations between our defense establishments. In addition to the bilateral strategic dialogue between senior officials from the Defense and Foreign Affairs Departments of both countries, which was first held in 2011, we also had the two-plus-two ministerial consultations between the secretaries of the Philippine and U.S. Defense and Foreign Affairs Departments in April 2012.
Our alliance remains relevant today as it was before. As we have reached a critical juncture in our alliance where our concerns on traditional and non-traditional security issues have become intertwined, the Philippines and the U.S. continue to seek ways to develop each other’s capabilities to address security challenges of mutual concern and contribute to regional peace and stability.
As fellow members of the ASEAN defense ministers’ meeting (ADMM)-plus, which was convened for the second time yesterday in Brunei Darussalam, the defense establishments of our two countries deem it important to enhance our relations not only as allies but also as fellow stakeholders of regional security.
Today, we focus on key areas of cooperation, including maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response (HA/DR), and cyber security and information sharing.
Indeed, after more than 60 years, the alliance between the Philippines and the U.S. remain relevant as we continue to enhance our capacity to address current concerns and emerging security issues. Thus, we shall continue to work closely to promote our common interests as well as peace and stability in the region.
Thank you.