The Czech Republic reaffirmed its commitment to help the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its ongoing modernization program.
The reaffirmation of support came after Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Philippines, Karel Hejč, along with a Czech defense delegation, made a courtesy call to the Department of National Defense (DND) last Tuesday, February 6.
“The Czech delegation’s courtesy call served as a follow-up to Ambassador Hejč’s introductory call on Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. in December 2023,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement Thursday.
They were met by DND Senior Undersecretary Irineo C. Espino, he added.
“The Czech delegation reiterated their country’s support to the modernization of the AFP, highlighting their defense products, ranging from small arms to various defense platforms,” Andolong said.
Both countries discussed common security challenges, upholding international law, especially focusing on international maritime law, and prospects for long-term defense cooperation under the 2017 Agreement on Defence Cooperation and 2021 Memorandum of Understanding concerning Cooperation in the Area of Defense Industry and Logistics between the DND and the Czech Ministry of Defence.
“Ambassador Hejč also expressed keenness to pursue government-to-government cooperation, explore joint manufacturing arrangements, and offer financing options for potential projects,” Andolong pointed out.
Both sides looked forward to the upcoming 5th Asia Defense and Security, Crisis & Disaster Management Exhibition and Conference in September and the DND’s hosting of the 2nd Joint Defense Committee Meeting on a mutually agreeable date this year.
Meanwhile, on February 5, Teodoro met with “Bundestag” (German Federal Parliament) Member, Dr. Johann Wadephul, during the official’s courtesy call to the DND.
“The two officials discussed common security challenges affecting both the Philippines and Germany, including the West Philippine Sea [WPS] and the larger South China Sea issue, the ongoing war in Ukraine, energy security, and climate change. With regard to the WPS, Secretary Teodoro expressed appreciation for Germany’s firm support to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS],” Andolong said.
Relatedly, Wadephul brought up Germany’s policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific, which puts emphasis on promoting a rules-based international order.
“Secretary Teodoro looked forward to strengthening bilateral defense relations between the Philippines and Germany, where the Department plans to establish a resident Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché post in Berlin,” the DND spokesperson said.