Saturday, February 11, 2012

US official here for talks on defense cooperation

MANILA, Philippines - Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro will consult with senior Philippine civilian and military officials on further enhancing broad defense and security cooperation between the Philippines and the United States.

The US embassy in Manila said yesterday Shapiro is in Manila for a visit from Feb. 9-11.

In a joint statement by the Philippines and the US issued last Jan. 27 in Washington following the second Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, the two sides said the visit of Shapiro and Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis would take place this month before the visit of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to the US next month.

The two sides will discuss economic issues and the interest of the Philippines in potentially joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Shapiro will also travel to Indonesia and Malaysia after the Philippines.

He will meet with senior officials during his visit in Jakarta, Indonesia from Feb.12-13 to further bilateral political-military cooperation, such as Indonesia’s recent decision to upgrade its air force with the acquisition of F-16 aircraft.

The US official will also attend the groundbreaking for the new US-funded barracks at Sentul Peacekeeping Training Center, a facility which helps to meet the growing global demand for specialized military and civilian personnel to serve in peacekeeping missions.

Shapiro will then visit Singapore on Feb. 14-16 to attend the Singapore Air Show 2012 and also discuss political-military and defense trade issues with senior government officials and industry representatives. 

On Feb. 15, he will travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he will hold bilateral meetings with senior civilian and defense officials.
The Philippine Star
February 10, 2012 12:00 AM

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