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Philippines, India to hold joint maritime exercises

Philippines, India to hold joint maritime exercises

Indian naval ships have arrived in the Philippines, as the two countries are set to hold a maritime partnership exercise this week in efforts to boost relations and mutual cooperation.

Three Indian naval ships arrived at the Manila Port area past 8 a.m. on Sunday: the guided missile destroyer INS Delhi, the anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kiltan, and the fleet tanker INS Shakti., part of the Indian Navy Eastern Fleet.

They were welcomed by representatives of the Philippine Navy and the Embassy of India, and will be in the country for the next four days.

“The Indian naval ships are visiting friendly foreign countries to share our experiences and best practices with host nation navies. We look forward to engaging interactions during our stay at Manila,” Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankar said in Darlene Cay's report on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.

“The two nations share common interests, particularly in maintaining peace and order in the Indo-Pacific region. The Indian Navy and the Philippine Navy share strong bonds of friendship, and both have endeavored to participate in maritime partnership exercises at every available opportunity,” he added.

India has one of the biggest Armed Forces across the country with 1.5 million active personnel, based on data from the Central intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States: 1.25 million in its army, 65,000 in the navy, 140,000 in the air force, and 12,000 in the coast guard.

The Philippines hosted the Balikatan joint military exercises with the United States last month, with participants including troops from the Australian Defense Force and the Marine Nationale or the French Navy.

Naval and air forces of the Philippines, the United States, Japan, and Australia last month also conducted a multilateral maritime cooperative activity (MMCA) in the West Philippine Sea, as part of their commitment to strengthen regional and international cooperation. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA Integrated News