DEFENSE and security cooperation will be on top of the agenda when Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala arrives in Manila for an official visit early next week.
In a statement posted on its official website, the Department of Foreign Affairs stated that the visit marks an important milestone in the diplomatic relations between Manila and Prague as the two countries commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on October 5.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Czech premier will hold bilateral talks after the arrival ceremony.
The two leaders will discuss issues of mutual interest with the view of strengthening the bilateral relationship, including defense cooperation, trade and investment, university linkages, judicial cooperation and labor cooperation.
They will also exchange views on regional and international issues of common concern.
The President and Prime Minister Fiala met in December in Brussels at the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the European Union where they discussed cooperation in the security sector in the context of the modernization program of the Philippine armed forces.
Philippine and Czech officials convened the Joint Defense Committee for the first time in 2019.
The Philippines attaches high importance to its ties with the Czech Republic and the members of the European Union and endeavors to advance these ties across political, economic and security areas.
The Philippines’ relations with European states, including with the Czech Republic, are energized by mutual interests in upholding democracy and freedom, rule of law, peace and stability, and human rights.
The Philippines is committed to fostering vibrant and meaningful cooperation between Asean and the EU, as the Asean coordinator of the dialogue partnership until 2024.
Meaningful connections between the Filipino and Czech nations find historical inspiration in the visits of the first Jesuits and scientific expeditions to the Philippines from the European continent, the famed friendship between Dr. Jose Rizal and Prof. Ferdinand Blumentritt, and the shared heroism of Filipinos and citizens of then Czechoslovakia fighting alongside each other in the battle of Bataan during the Second World War.
Source: Manila Times