Philippines, Bahrain discuss potential areas on defense and military cooperation
Tue | January 02, 2024

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December 6, 2023 (Quezon City) – Department of National Defense (DND) Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessments and International Affairs Marita I Yoro, CESO III received a delegation from the Bahrain Royal Guard (BRG), led by Colonel Adel Khamis Mohamed Khamis, Senior Operations Officer of BRG, to discuss potential areas of defense and military cooperation.

During the meeting, both officials expressed hope for the immediate finalization and signing of the proposed Philippines-Bahrain Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Military Cooperation.

Assistant Secretary Yoro encouraged the continued interaction, informal exchanges, and consultation between both countries as the DND undertakes an incremental approach in developing relations with Bahrain.

The BRG delegation shared its organizational structure, and expressed the interest of His Highness Major General Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Commander of the BRG, in developing defense and military cooperation with the Philippines, particularly on special operations. The BRG is planning to send a delegation in February 2024 to exchange best practices and experience with the Philippine Army's Special Operations Regiment, and visit other major services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Moreover, the BRG invited the AFP to send observers to the Hamad Storm Exercise in 2024, which is a combined exercise annually held by Bahrain with the Special Forces of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom (UK), and send participants to Bahrain's Military Free Fall parachute course.

Both sides also discussed the feasibility of conducting bilateral defense meetings to discuss possible collaboration on information sharing or intelligence exchange, as well as collaboration on defense industry and procurement, among others.

The meeting concluded with both sides hoping to increase interaction and engagements on defense and military in succeeding years.