PH-Vietnam Intel sharing eyed


IN agreeing to a strategic partnership with Vietnam, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin admitted that the Philippines is interested in enhanced intelligence exchange and inter-operability with Hanoi, but stressed that such an arrangement is not necessarily aimed at any third country.

“On the defense front, our objective is closer information sharing and inter-operability in the region,” Gazmin told Manila Standard Today in a telephone interview. “The more people we have strategic partnerships with, the more friends we have to help.”

Gazmin said such a strategic partnership could be deeply significant because both countries are in the same region and are both members of the Association of South East Asian Nations which is gearing up for a single economic community by 2015.

But such a strategic partnership, which the Philippines has similarly forged with the United States and Japan, “will be based on agreed upon goals,” Gazmin emphasized.

A well-placed source in the Department of Foreign Affairs, who asked not to be identified, agreed that the two countries’ agreement to forge a road map toward a strategic partnership would hopefully result in stronger defense and economic cooperation.


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