Phl, India strengthen cooperation on maritime security

Phl, India strengthen cooperation on maritime security
Photo courtesy of Bongbong Marcos / Facebook

The Philippines and India have committed to enhancing their cooperation to bolster maritime security amidst growing security challenges across global waters.

During the courtesy call of Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Malacañang earlier this week, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. discussed the escalating dangers that the sailors are facing in the world's oceans.

Earlier this month, two Filipino individuals lost their lives in a missile strike while traversing the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The President emphasized that due to the security challenges prevalent in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean, nations like India and the Philippines must strengthen their collaboration.

“We’re ready to join up and if there are opportunities for us to work together, it really is at a crisis point of shipping. And maybe we can find something that we can do together to ease the situation at least a little bit until it becomes — the conflict becomes less heated,” Marcos told Jaishankar.

While India and the Philippines are non-traditional partners in terms of maritime issues, Marcos said “it serves a purpose for us to start a thinking about that, because the world is like that already, very closely connected.”

The Indian official concurred with the President, expressing the mutual sentiment that the two countries ought to explore areas where they can enhance their cooperation, with the aspiration of discovering novel approaches to tackle the global scenario.

Meanwhile, Marcos acknowledged the recent rescue of Filipino seafarers by the Indian Navy in the Gulf of Aden.

He extended the Philippines' gratitude for the Indian Navy's swift rescue and assistance provided to the Filipino crew members of the MV True Confidence, who were attacked off the coast of Yemen earlier in the month.

“I express my profound gratitude to the Indian government for their swift and decisive action in rescuing Filipino seafarers involved in the MV True Confidence incident,” Marcos said in a separate Facebook post.

An Indian Navy vessel, which formed part of the international task force patrolling the Red Sea, successfully rescued the remaining Filipino crew members and transported them to Djibouti.

Additionally, Marcos expressed a keen interest in deepening the bilateral relations between the Philippines and India.

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