South Asia and Beyond

India Supports Philippines In Upholding Its Sovereignty, Says Jaishankar

 India Supports Philippines In Upholding Its Sovereignty, Says Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with the Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Enrique Manalo in Manila. Source: X

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated that India “firmly supported” the Philippines in upholding its national sovereignty. The remarks by the minister came in response to a question during a joint press conference with his Filipino counterpart Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Enrique Manalo.

“We are also convinced that the progress and prosperity of this region is best served by staunch adherence to a rules-based order. UNCLOS 1982 is particularly important in that regard, as the constitution of the seas. All parties must adhere to it in its entirety, both in letter and in spirit. I take this opportunity to firmly reiterate India’s support to the Philippines for upholding its national sovereignty,” the minister said in his response.

Jaishankar is on a four-day visit official visit to Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia from March 23 to March 27.

The minister also remarked that India was preparing to “step up its engagement with the Philippines” in the fields of trade and investment, health and food security, defence, and maritime cooperation. New Delhi has already signed an agreement on enhanced maritime cooperation with Manila and there will be an Indian Coast Guard vessel making a port of call in Manila later in the year. Joint interests in ensuring global maritime safety, especially in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea post the Houthi attacks, was also discussed.

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The minister had earlier been in Singapore for the first leg of his southeast Asia visit from March 23-25. Here he called upon Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong where he conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Modi. An MEA statement stated the focus of the dialogue was “deepening engagement in the identified pillars of bilateral cooperation, including fintech, digitalisation, green economy, skills development and food security.”

During his visit, the minister also paid homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army (INA) soldiers at a war memorial.

Jaishankar will conclude his visit with a visit to Malaysia. According to local media reports the visit will cement both country’s visions of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Malaysia takes over the Asean chair in 2025. Malaysia is one of the four Asean member countries with which India has signed strategic partnership agreements, the others being Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam.


Ashwin Ahmad

Traveller, bibliophile and wordsmith with a yen for international relations. A journalist and budding author of short fiction, life is a daily struggle to uncover the latest breaking story while attempting to be Hemingway in the self-same time. Focussed especially on Europe and West Asia, discussing Brexit, the Iran crisis and all matters related is a passion that endures to this day. Believes firmly that life without the written word is a life best not lived. That’s me, Ashwin Ahmad.