Canada will help boost the Philippines’ maritime capability to defend its sovereign rights in the South China Sea, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Friday.
“In the context of the Indo-Pacific strategy, the Philippines is clearly a priority country for Canada. You will see more support when it comes to security,” Joly said in an interview with GMANEWS Online.
During her meetig with Philippine Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo yesterday, she said Canada has placed Philippines at the “core” of its Indo-Pacific strategy.
Joly’s tour followed another top diplomat’s visit from the Commonwealth.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong left Manila on Thursday after her three-day stay, where she announced new maritime cooperation initiatives and an increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the Philippines.
In his remarks, Manalo said “there are plenty of areas” that the Philippines and Canada can work on to bolster existing cooperation.
These include trade and investment, education and defense.
“As we recover from the impact of COVID-19, and with the Philippines under a new administration, this meeting is a perfect opportunity to set the tone for our bilateral relations towards being more strategic, dynamic, and mutually beneficial,” Manalo said.