DFA: Phl backs AUKUS nuke submarine deal

Photo: AFP

The Philippines on Thursday expressed its support for Australia’s nuclear submarine deal with the United Kingdom and the United States.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the country appreciates the efforts of AUKUS, referring to the trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in providing information and developments on their partnership.

“As the Philippines remains committed to strengthening our existing bilateral security arrangements in the region, we particularly note the assurances made at the highest levels that AUKUS will contribute to the preservation of regional peace and stability,” the DFA said.

“For the Philippines, it is important that partnerships or arrangements in the Indo-Pacific region, such as AUKUS, support our pursuit of deeper regional cooperation and sustained economic vitality and resilience, which are essential to our national development and the security of the region,” it added.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu earlier said the procurement of a nuclear-powered submarine under AUKUS aims to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Australia is investing in capabilities to meet the challenges of our strategic circumstances and ensure the Indo-Pacific remains stable, secure, and prosperous,” Yu said in a Tuesday tweet.

She added: “We are grateful for the Philippines’ support as Australia seeks to become a more capable defense partner in the region.”

The DFA said the arrangements to uphold ASEAN’s central role in the regional security architecture and reinforce an international rules-based order that underpins regional security and development are important to the Philippines.

While being supportive, the DFA urged AUKUS to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to “ensure that its activities observe the relevant international nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation standards.”

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