US, Russia, Australia, South Korea want more defense equipment for Philippines
Louis Bacani (Philstar.com) - November 17, 2015 - 11:31pm

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday held bilateral meetings with four of his counterparts ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' plenary session.

Aquino met first with United States President Barack Obama who reaffirmed his country's commitment to defend the Philippines, a treaty ally.

Obama reiterated that the US will donate two more vessels to the Philippine Navy.

"During my visit yesterday with members of the Filipino Armed Forces I was able to announce that we are increasing our maritime security assistance to the Philippines to record levels," Obama said.

After his meeting with Obama, Aquino had bilateral talks with Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and thanked him for donating two landing crafts and for supporting the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Turnbull, meanwhile, was keen to continue helping Philippines by providing more equipment for defense and disaster risk reduction.

"We've had a very good discussion today about the work we can do together in terms of defense cooperation, and we appreciate your thanks for the landing craft—the heavy landing crafts that we provided to the Philippines, and we look forward to more support in that area," Turnbull said in joint press conference with Aquino.

Aquino then met with South Korea President Park Geun-hye and expressed pleasure over the "robust logistics cooperation" between their countries, as manifested by Manila's acquisition of various defense material from Seoul such as the FA-50 fighter jets.

Aquino thanked Park for donating a patrol combat corvette, a landing craft utility and 16 rubber boats to improve the AFP's capabilities.

Park hoped that more South Korean companies will participate in the AFP modernization program.

Aquino last met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev who filled in for President Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev said Russia seeks to open avenues for military and defense cooperation with the Philippines similar to existing agreements with other states.

AQUINO ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION AUSTRALIA PRIME MINISTER MALCOLM TURNBULL FILIPINO ARMED FORCES I OBAMA PHILIPPINE NAVY PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER DMITRY MEDVEDEV SOUTH KOREA PRESIDENT PARK GEUN
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