Manila: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is on an official visit to Manila, held a 'warm and productive' meeting with Philippines Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Enrique Manalo on Tuesday and discussed wide-ranging issues of security and maritime cooperation.

During the meeting, both leaders exchanged views on global, regional, and multilateral issues, including Indo-Pacific, ASEAN, West Asia, and global and regional issues.

In a post on X, EAM Jaishankar spoke about his meeting with Philippines counterpart saying, "Warm and productive meeting with @SecManalo of Philippines. Wide ranging discussion on advancing ties in political, defence, security & maritime cooperation, trade & investment, infrastructure, development cooperation, education, digital, technology, culture and consular domains."

"Exchanged views on global, regional and multilateral issues including Indo-Pacific, ASEAN, West Asia, Ukraine, NAM and UN. As two democracies committed to a rules-based order, look forward to intensifying our cooperation," he added.

External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, who is on a formal visit to Manila, said on Tuesday that India firmly supports the Philippines in upholding its national sovereignty and will continue to further enhance cooperation in various fields, including defence and security.

"We firmly support the Philippines in upholding its national sovereignty. So I think our position is very clear. Now, regarding defence cooperation, you need to look at cooperation at its whole merits. It is not necessary to await the particular situation but it's natural today, whose trust and comfort are growing so rapidly, that we would look at various and new areas of cooperation and certainly defence and security," EAM said while addressing a press conference with the Philippines Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Enrique Manalo.

"In my own statement, we make three points very clear on that. We regard Clause 1982 as very important, we regarded it as the constitution of the seas. Two, we believe that all parties must adhere to it as I said its entirety, both in the latter and spirit," he added.

EAM Jaishankar also stressed India's focus on maritime security and highlighted that the Philippines and India are both important maritime nations and are making exceptional commitments to global shipping.

Meanwhile, the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, in a statement said that Manila conveyed its "strong protest against the aggressive actions" undertaken by China's Coast Guard and Chinese maritime militias against the Philippine mission near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea.

The department said it has also instructed its mission in Beijing to lodge a formal complaint over the incident.

The move comes a day after Philippines' National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano said the confrontation that injured three Filipino soldiers caused severe damage to the Unaizah May 4 vessel.

Jaishankar arrived in Manila after paying an official visit to Singapore and will visit Malaysia after the Philippines.

Jaishankar is on an official visit to these countries at the invitation of his counterparts, according to an official release of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The visit of the EAM spanning five days from March 23-27 will focus on enhancing bilateral relations with the three countries and provide an opportunity for engagement on regional issues of mutual concern.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed