Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana and US Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava held an introductory meeting on Tuesday, 28 September 2021, to discuss developments on Philippines-US bilateral defense relations.
The SND officially welcomed CDA Variava to the Philippines, and both sides reaffirmed commitment to the Philippines-US alliance through the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). CDA Variava emphasized that both countries enjoy deep and longstanding bonds, with the alliance at the center of the US’ relationship with the Philippines.
The SND expressed his appreciation for the US Government’s support to the Philippine Government’s efforts in addressing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly in facilitating the continued delivery of vaccines in support to the Philippines’ national immunization program.
Both sides exchanged views on recent developments in the region, and covered discussions on how to further enhance the cooperation between the Philippines and the US. They also discussed updates on upcoming bilateral defense activities, logistics cooperation, particularly on the capability upgrades of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the way ahead for the Philippines-US defense relations.
The meeting with CDA Variava is the SND’s first official face-to-face engagement after completing his fourteen-(14) day mandatory quarantine from his official travel to the US earlier this month.