In a significant diplomatic mission, UK Defence Minister Baroness Goldie is set to meet with Philippine Defence Minister Teodoro in Manila on Wednesday. Their discussions will revolve around reinforcing the UK-Philippines relationship and their mutual dedication to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Commitment to the Indo-Pacific
The high-profile meeting underscores the UK’s unwavering commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. In addition to fostering their bilateral ties, the Ministers have put maritime security and adherence to maritime law at the forefront of their dialogue.
Maritime Security in Focus
Both Ministers have underscored the importance of maritime security, aligning it with the principles of a rules-based international order. This is consistent with the UK’s recent Integrated Review Refresh, which further highlights the nation’s dedication to upholding maritime law in the region.
As part of the visit, the UK Defence Minister will pay a visit to HMS Spey, a cutting-edge naval vessel, currently stationed in Legazpi. Baroness Goldie will also attend the closing ceremonies of the naval exercise, “SAMA SAMA,” which emphasizes international defense cooperation and maintaining the rules-based international order.
HMS Spey, recognized as the greenest ship in the Royal Navy, is taking part in the joint PH-US maritime exercise, partnering with Japan, Australia, and Canada, demonstrating the shared commitment to freedom of navigation.
HMS Spey’s presence in the Indo-Pacific is part of a five-year mission, accompanied by its sister ship, HMS Tamar. These ships are working alongside partners in the region, addressing security challenges, and supporting nations in dealing with the impacts of climate change.
Honoring the Fallen
In a solemn gesture of remembrance, Baroness Goldie will lay a wreath at the Commonwealth War Grave in the American Cemetery in Manila. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) actively preserves cemeteries worldwide, ensuring due respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Expressing her commitment to the UK-Philippines relationship, Baroness Goldie stated,
“The UK remains committed to our relationship with the Philippines, and I am pleased both to be visiting for the first time and to be the first UK defense Minister to visit in many years.”
She further emphasized her eagerness to participate in Exercise SAMA SAMA and explore opportunities for deepening defense cooperation in line with their shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
During her visit, Baroness Goldie will discuss the UK’s ongoing commitment to the Indo-Pacific, regional peace, and security. The UK Government remains steadfast in its pledge to enhance its partnership with the Philippines, further solidifying the bonds between the two nations.