Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Meeting with Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana
Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met with Philippine Secretary of National Defense, Delfin Lorenzana on the sidelines of the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ 17th Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 2.
The two leaders held in depth discussions on the U.S.-Philippines Alliance and the two nations’ growing bilateral defense relationship. Secretary Mattis reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the 67-year old alliance and emphasized the need to build upon the interoperability the two countries militaries have achieved through extensive and regularly planned annual training events. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is undergoing modernization. Secretary Mattis pledged U.S. support for this initiative, and reiterated the importance of ensuring the two militaries enhance their ability to operate jointly.
Secretary Mattis and Secretary Lorenzana reviewed the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy and its implications for the Alliance. Both leaders emphasized the need to keep the Indo-Pacific free and open and highlighted the central importance of ASEAN in upholding the rules-based order. The two secretaries discussed their commitment to fighting terrorism and reaffirmed U.S. military advisory support to assist the Philippines in combatting violent extremist networks.
The two defense leaders also discussed measures to boost information sharing and maritime domain awareness cooperation between regional partners to help fight the spread of terrorism and other transnational threats.