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Cooperative Approach to Maritime Security

Friday, 17 June 2005 097/2005

Cooperative Approach to Maritime Security

An assessment of the Philippines' maritime surveillance and response systems will soon be carried out cooperatively by Australia and the Philippines to develop practical ways to strengthen maritime security in the region.

Defence Minister Senator Robert Hill said the initiative was developed as part of a two-day security seminar held in Manila this week to look at ways Australia can work more closely with the Philippines on strategic maritime security issues.

The seminar follows talks between Senator Hill and Philippines Secretary for National Defense Avelino Cruz at the Fourth Asia Security Conference (Shangri La Dialogue) hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies earlier this month as well as a visit by Secretary Cruz in April.

"The focus of the seminar was on whole-of-government coordination, looking at the role of Defence and other security agencies in responding to maritime threats," Senator Hill said.

Experts from Australia and the Philippines met to exchange information on each country's experience on maritime security and surveillance within the region, and the challenges in the Philippines with its archipelagic geography.

In addition to the maritime surveillance project, there will also be a separate assessment of the Philippines' air based surveillance and response system.
"The complex challenges in modern maritime security require close working relationships between Governments in our region," Senator Hill said.

"This conference has highlighted ways Australia and the Philippines can cooperate to enhance maritime security and is an important step in further developing our defence engagement with the Philippines."


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