PHL and France reaffirm their alliance during the 2nd political consultation

The Philippines and France renewed their pledges to deepen bilateral cooperation in various areas, as officials from the two sides virtually met for their second round of political consultations on September 16.

The Philippine delegation, headed by the Acting Under-Secretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs, Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro and the French side, represented by the Ministry of Europe-Director of Foreign Affairs for the Asia and Oceania Bertrand Lortholary, gave an update on the evolution of their respective countries, in particular on their national vaccination strategies, the importance of mobilizing multilateral cooperation during the current global health crisis and the exploration of ‘a bilateral agreement on cooperation in the field of health.

Lazaro expressed the country’s appreciation to the French government for facilitating the transfer of a Philippine national from Afghanistan, and discussed the Philippines’ priorities as ASEAN-EU relations coordinator for 2021-2024, as well as ways to maximize the Asean-France development partnership.

The two sides also discussed the results of the recently concluded ninth meeting of the Franco-Philippine Joint Economic Committee and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation despite the pandemic. They also stressed the importance of respect for the freedom of navigation and overflight, then underlined the value of the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, as reflected in the Convention on the Law of the Sea, in stressing the importance of concluding an effective agreement and substantial Code of Conduct.

The two sides also looked forward to hosting a series of local events to mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Franco-Filipino diplomatic relations in 2022.

Lazaro was joined by Deputy Secretary for European Affairs Jaime Victor Ledda, Deputy Secretary for ASEAN Affairs and new Philippine Ambassador to France Junever Mahilum-West, Chargé d’affaires Aileen Mendiola-Rau from the Embassy of Philippines in Paris, and Business Advisor Froilan Pamintuan of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Paris.

France will host the next round of bilateral consultations.

Image courtesy of DFA-OEA