MANILA, Sept 5 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines and Israel are planning to further expand their defense and military relations.

This, after Department of National Defense (DND) officer-in-charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. met with Ambassador of Israel to the Philippines Ilan Fluss during the diplomat’s courtesy call last Sept. 1.

“Among the topics discussed were the ongoing consultations on broadening Philippines-Israel defense relations, areas of defense and military cooperation, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) modernization program,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement Saturday night.

The two officials underscored that trust and commitment between both countries remain the foundation of a strong partnership.

During their meeting, Faustino also said to further enhance logistics and procurement cooperation, it is time to broaden the Philippines-Israel defense collaboration.

He also expressed appreciation for the invitations received by the Department to attend security-related conferences and summits in Israel.

“Furthermore, the OIC, DND welcomed other possible areas of cooperation, including high-level visits, education and training exchanges, intelligence sharing, and self-reliant defense posture (SRDP) programs, among others,” Andolong said.

Fluss also highlighted that defense cooperation is one of the important aspects of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Israel.

“He conveyed that Israel is willing to share its experience and expertise to support the Philippines’ capacity building efforts and participate in the AFP Modernization Program,” the DND spokesperson added.

Both the Philippines and Israel are looking forward to strengthening defense and military relations and working together in enhancing both countries’ capabilities. (MNS)