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Immediate Release

Joint Press Statement for Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

U.S. Department of Defense and Philippine Department of National Defense spokespersons provide the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro Jr spoke by phone yesterday. Secretary Austin reinforced U.S. support for the Philippines following the PRC Coast Guard and maritime militia's dangerous obstruction of a Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal on October 22.

The Secretaries discussed the incident on October 22, particularly the PRC's dangerous and unlawful maneuvers that caused collisions with Philippine resupply and Coast Guard ships, putting the safety of Philippine vessels and crew at risk.

The Secretaries reaffirmed that the Mutual Defense Treaty extends to both countries' public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces—to include the Coast Guard—anywhere in the Pacific, to include the South China Sea.  Both Secretaries committed to redouble efforts to strengthen bilateral coordination, interoperability, and support for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Secretary Austin reiterated the ironclad U.S. commitment to the Philippines and the Indo-Pacific region.

The Secretaries commended recent bilateral military cooperation, including the bilateral sail last month off the coast of Palawan, and committed to increase the pace and scope of U.S.-Philippines engagements. The Secretaries look forward to meeting in person in Jakarta on the margins of the upcoming ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus.