What’s in the First Spain Warship Voyage to the Philippines?  

Last week, a Spanish vessel paid the first voyage to the Philippines of its kind since the Southeast Asian state’s independence. Though this was just one among several interactions between the two countries which date back centuries, it nonetheless highlighted efforts by both sides to advance the defense aspect of their ties within the contemporary bilateral relationship.

The Philippines and Spain have long shared relations, with Spain having colonized the Philippines for centuries and contemporary diplomatic ties established in 1947. But both sides have also been attempting to further advance their defense ties over the past few years as well, building on aspects such as defense logistics cooperation, training, and the delivery of capabilities for the development of the Philippine military amid its continued modernization.

That has continued on into 2019 as well. Back in June, as both countries commemorated the 17th iteration of Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, indications were that both sides were planning on finalizing a new defense memorandum of understanding covering various fields including logistics, defense materiel, armaments and defense industry cooperation. There are a number of upcoming engagements as well, including a planned trip for Philippine Navy chief Robert Empedrad to Spain next month, following the visit of the Philippine Army chief to Spain back in June.

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Image | The Diplomat