Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and United States Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava reaffirmed their commitment to the Philippines-US alliance through the Mutual Defense Treaty on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
“CDA Variava emphasized that both countries enjoy deep and long-standing bonds, with the alliance at the center of the US’ relationship with the Philippines,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said.
During the meeting, both sides exchanged perspectives on recent regional developments and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and the United States.
“They also discussed updates on upcoming bilateral defense activities, logistics cooperation, particularly on the capability upgrades of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the way ahead for the Philippines-US defense relations,” Andolong said.
Lorenzana has also expressed his appreciation to the US government’s support for the country’s efforts in containing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The DND chief personally thanked Variava during their introductory meeting where he also officially welcomed the US official to the Philippines on the aforementioned date.
“The SND (Secretary of National Defense) expressed his appreciation for the US Government’s support to the Philippine Government’s efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, particularly in facilitating the continued delivery of vaccines in support to the Philippines’ national immunization program,” Andolong further stressed.
The meeting with Variava was Lorenzana’s first official face-to-face engagement after completing his 14-day mandatory quarantine from his official travel to the US early this month.