MANILA–The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will host a series of high-levels meetings of top military officers from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) starting Monday.
AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo on Sunday confirmed that the top military officials of the regional bloc are set to attend the ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM) from Wednesday to Friday.
“The heads of delegation will be joined by senior operations and intelligence officers who will be attending the Military Operations and Military Intelligence Informal Meetings,” he added.
“The ACDFIM, and operations and intelligence meetings are annual events intended to provide an opportunity to discuss and assess in a very strategic, comprehensive, positive and productive manner all prominent issues and concerns of mutual interests,” Arevalo pointed out.
Arevalo said the gathering seeks to “encourage common perspectives and understanding for promoting and fostering strong relationships and security cooperation in the region”.
Also included in the meeting’s agenda are high-level discussions on common concerns that were raised in the ASEAN Summit and Defense Ministers’ meetings.
Military Operations and Military Intelligence Informal Meetings are complementary to the ACDFIM as these are geared towards capacity building and strengthening cooperation among ASEAN militaries in addressing common security challenges.
Issues which are expected to be discussed in the meetings include maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, counter-terrorism, infectious disease management, and peacekeeping.
The hosting and leadership of these meetings is in line with the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship this year.
AFP chief-ofstaff Gen. Eduardo Año will lead the AFP’s delegation to the meetings.
“The meetings will bolster the ASEAN militaries’ collective experience and resolve to combat modern global security challenges; and ensure that we are on the same page in our approaches to threats such as piracy and terrorism,” Año said in a statement.
“Our hosting of these events is also timely in our hopes to cement our position in the ASEAN as a global partner and fully capable military which is responsive to local and regional issues through consistent cooperation and innovation,” the AFP chief added.