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Sweden’s defense chief visits Philippines

MANILA, Philippines —  Exploring ways to deepen relations and cooperation, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. welcomed Sweden’s Defense Minister Pål Jonson to the Philippines yesterday, marking the first  time that a Swedish defense chief visited Manila.

The visit also coincides with the National Day of Sweden, which Teodoro considered as a clear manifestation of the budding relations between the Philippines and Sweden.

Teodoro, during their meeting, highlighted the common values and shared recognition for the rules-based international order of the two countries, and welcomed more opportunities in strengthening defense cooperation.

Both defense chiefs underscored that the security of the Indo-Pacific and North Atlantic is interlinked, which necessitates a deeper understanding of each other’s regional concerns amid shifts in the geopolitical architecture.

Jonson also shared Sweden’s increasing interest in deepening its engagement and understanding of the Indo-Pacific region through cooperation with like-minded nations such as the Philippines.

To reciprocate arrangements made by the Philippines, Jonson extended an invitation for Teodoro to pay an official visit to Sweden on a mutually convenient date.

In June 2023, the Philippines and Sweden concluded the Memorandum of Understanding concerning Cooperation in the Acquisition of Defense Materiel on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

The framework paved the way in advancing cooperation in the areas of logistics, technology research and development, defense industry development, and exchange of related information.

Aside from logistics cooperation, both ministries explore exchanges on a broad range of mutual interests, such as defense education and capacity building, maritime security, rule of law, climate change adaptation, gender and security, total defense, cyber, and responsible use of emerging and disruptive technologies.