India and Philippines ink key pacts in maritime domain

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi. Aimed at boosting maritime cooperation, India and Philippines inked key pacts in the field of maritime domain and security with emphasis on rules based international order amid China’s ambitions and need to jointly fight international terror.

The pacts were signed during the state visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Manila.

“Visit to the Philippines is taking place in this landmark year when we are celebrating 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. Our bilateral relationship has intensified since the visit of Prime Minister of India to Manila in November 2017. I was privileged to host you, Your Excellency, in India in 2018 for the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit. Our relations have grown from strength to strength. We have strong cooperation in political, defence and security, counter- terrorism, trade and investment as well as in agriculture, science and technology and health fields,” Kovind noted in a statement.

“I had very productive discussions with President Duterte. These cover bilateral cooperation as well as regional and global issues of the day. Today, we have signed four agreements covering maritime domain, security, tourism, science and technology and culture. These would further intensify our cooperation.”

“We have decided to explore both our common future through cooperation in Space, as well as the past – through research of the history of our civilizational roots and commonalities in our culture and tradition. We look forward to receive experts from the Philippines to India to research and document our ancient links. Therefore, my visit to this beautiful country is quite aptly captioned as – “Philippines and India at 70: Ushering Infinite Possibilities”.

“As two vibrant democracies that believe in a rules-based international order, respect for international law and sovereign equality of nations, the Philippines and India are natural partners in the pursuit of their respective national development and security objectives,” the President said without naming any country.

“Both our countries have been victims of terrorism. As you know, India has been the target of cross-border terrorism for decades. We are committed to work closely together to defeat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Kovind is a on four day state visit to Philippines followed by Japan.