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Philippines - France: One side looks close, one side reaches far

Dec 04, 2023

Manila [Philippines], December 4: The Philippines and France have just agreed to start negotiations on an agreement that would allow each country's military to be present in the other country's territory.
The Philippines has similar agreements with the US and Australia, and is negotiating with Japan. France has the brightest prospect of becoming the first European country and EU member to promote military and defense cooperation to such a level with the Philippines.
Among EU and NATO members in Europe, France has the most special practical interests in the Indo-Pacific region. The country has several so-called "overseas territories" in the above area and still deploys about 7,000 soldiers in those places. In recent years, the Indo-Pacific has become the focus of attention of many external partners, in which the US, EU and UK cause France to compete the most.
Since the Philippines had a new president, the relationship with the US has improved and promoted. The EU is also gradually opening a new era of relations with the Philippines . In the Indo-Pacific, the Philippines has significantly enhanced its position in the strategies and policies of Japan and Australia. Such a context and situation force France to take advantage of and promote relations with the Philippines, especially in terms of military and security, if it wants to reach out to this region.
The Philippines places top priority on looking closely at large areas. For military, defense and security cooperation, the EU is not as suitable for the Philippines as France. France will be a useful addition to what the Philippines has built with the US, Australia and is promoting with Japan. The side that wants to reach far and the side that looks closer meet each other in a common framework for their own benefits.
Source: ThanhNien Newspaper