The agreement comes after five months of fierce fighting in the Southern Philippines city Marawi, which was seized by Daesh-aligned terrorists in May. Minister Payne welcomed the announcement by the Philippines Government yesterday that fighting in Marawi has ended.
“The practical training the ADF will provide will ensure the Philippines defence force is better able to counter the brutal tactics being employed by terrorists,’’ Minister Payne said.
“The spread of Daesh-inspired terrorism is a direct threat to Australia and its interests and we are committed to working with our partners and allies to ensuring Daesh cannot establish a geographic foothold in the region”, she added.
As part of the increased cooperation, Australia and the Philippines defence forces will also work together to enhance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) in the southern Philippines; strengthen information sharing arrangements; and enhance maritime security engagement and bilateral maritime patrols.
Australia and the Philippines will also co-host a multiagency civil, military and law enforcement seminar on post-conflict rehabilitation efforts.
Minister Payne and Philippines Secretary for National Defense Delfin Lorenzana confirmed the arrangements during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers’ Meeting‑Plus in the Philippines.
They also discussed the engagement of Australia’s AP-3C Orions in light of the progress in Marawi.
The Australia and the Philippines defence relationship is long-standing and supported by a comprehensive Defence Cooperation Program, a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement and regular bilateral and multilateral training, education and counter-terrorism exercises.