India has briefed the Philippines on the Indian Navy’s deployments in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea to counter ongoing threats, external affairs minister Jaishankar said on Tuesday.
Jaishankar, who is on a visit to the archipelagic country, said that he discussed with Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo discussed shared interests in ensuring maritime safety.
Addressing a joint press briefing with Manalo, Jaishankar said, “Secretary Manalo and I have discussed our shared interests in ensuring maritime safety, given that our two countries contribute so much to the global shipping industry.”
“I also briefed him about the Indian Navy’s deployments in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea to counter ongoing threats. And he himself has spoken about the rescue of MV True Confidence by one of our ships, INS Kolkata. And there have been some other instances, I think since then, MV, Lila Norfolk, as well which involved some crew from the Philippines,” he added.
Jaishankar said that he and Manalo held “very good discussions” following up the latter’s visit to India in June in 2023. He recalled meeting Manalo in Kampala on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit this year in January.
Highlighting the importance of ties between India and Philippines, the external affairs minister said, “Our partnership with the Philippines also has a larger context in terms of the engagement with the ASEAN. The Philippines will take over as India’s country coordinator later this year. We look forward to its steering India-ASEAN cooperation, especially in regard to reviewing the trade agreement, to building connectivity and to deepening people-to-people contacts.”
Jaishankar also affirmed India’s strong support of ASEAN’s centrality, cohesion and unity. He reiterated India’s support for the Philippines in upholding its national sovereignty.
The foreign minister said, “As a nation deeply invested in this region because of its Act East policy and Indo-Pacific vision, India follows all developments with great interest. We are strongly supportive of ASEAN’s centrality, cohesion and unity. We are also convinced that the progress and prosperity of this region is best served by staunch adherence to a rules-based order.”

“UNCLOS 1982 is particularly important in that regard as the constitution of the seas. All parties must adhere to it in its entirety, both in letter and in spirit. I take this opportunity to firmly reiterate India’s support to the Philippines for upholding its national sovereignty,” he added.
UNCLOS is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Terming it essential for India and Philippines to cooperate more closely, Jaishankar said, “As the world changes, it is essential that countries like India and the Philippines cooperate more closely to shape the emerging order. today we discussed a range of global and regional issues, from the UN, from the NAM, to the Indo-Pacific, to Myanmar, to Ukraine and beyond that.”
The EAM said that India and Philippines contribute significantly to the global workspace and that the two nations would like to see more resilient supply chains and trusted digital partnerships.
He further said, “Our activities serve to strengthen the cause of the Global South in different domains. Our commitment to democratic values is deep and abiding. We are both nations who value the autonomy of decision making and favour a multi-polar world, with a multi-polar Asia at its core. These convergences, based on an expanding bilateral partnership, today drive the upward trajectory of our ties.”
Jaishankar noted that the ties between the two nations have witnessed a very perceptible growth in recent times.
Jaishankar said, “As you all know, India’s ties with the Philippines has seen very perceptible growth in recent times. Prime Minister Modi met Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr during the India-ASEAN Summit in September last year. And I will have the honour of calling on the President later this afternoon and look forward to conveying the Prime Minister’s greetings and good wishes.”
Jaishankar arrived in the Philippines after concluding his visit to Singapore. During his visit, S Jaishankar and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong exchanged views on deepening engagement in fintech, digitalization, the green economy, skills development and food security.
He also met with Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Singapore. The EAM had several bilateral engagements with the leadership and the senior ministers of the Cabinet. He also met Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security. (ANI)