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PBBM to address Australia solons today, raise West PH Sea tensions

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President Marcos is expected to raise the current tension in the West Philippine Sea during his two separate visits to Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday, citing Manila’s strategic partnership with Canberra.

“Yes, we have very strong defense and security relations with Australia, they have been partners with us for a long time, even before the official establishment of relations, because they were with us as partners during World War II and now the relations have actually seen an elevation from comprehensive to strategic partnership,” DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza confirmed during a Palace briefing.

“In terms of defense and security that will actually be talked (about), will be discussed, but also in terms of what’s happening in the region and what is happening within our region – one issue will be the South China Sea. And it’s also worth mentioning that Australia and the Philippines are maritime nations, and it cannot be denied that it will be something that will have to be raised as well,” she added.

According to Daza, the President will undertake a Guest of Government visit to Australia on Feb. 28 to 29, upon the invitation of Governor General David Hurley. Mr. Marcos would return to Australia to participate in the ASEAN-Australia Summit from March 4 to 6.

In September last year, the Philippines and Australia upgraded their relations to a strategic partnership to enhance cooperation in various areas.

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“President Marcos is also expected to open new avenues of collaboration with Australia to further cement the strategic partnership between the two nations,” Daza said.

“The President’s visit and official activities in Canberra shall further strengthen existing bonds of cooperation and shall enable discussions for new avenues of collaboration, as both the Philippines and Australia look forward to celebrating the 78th anniversary of diplomatic relations later this year,” she added.

He will be the first Philippine President to speak before the Australian Parliament.

President Marcos will also exchange views on cooperation and regional issues with Australian officials, including Governor Hurley, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and other parliamentary leaders.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline “Marcos to raise WPS issue during Australia visit—DFA.”

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