By Francis Wakefield
The Department of National Defense (DND) on Sunday said its defense cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia got a big boost following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Split, Croatia last April 11, 2019.
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Damir Krstičević signed the MOU that will help strengthen the two countries’ bilateral defense relations.
Lorenzana assured that his bilateral meeting with Krstičević will propel better and warmer friendly relations between the two countries.
“The bond stems not only from their cultural and religious ties but the proud heritage of fighting for independence from invaders,” Lorenzana said.
Krsticevic said the historic signing between the two countries is founded on trust and respect.
He added that despite Croatia’s young existence as an independent nation and a small population, his country has been a contributor of peacekeeping forces to the United Nations.
Croatia, he said, also boasts of its own modern and highly advanced defense industry which is considered as one of the best in the world.
DND Public Affairs Service Chief Director Arsenio R. Andolong, said the MOU between the Philippines and the Republic of Croatia is the latest manifestation of the defense department’s policy to increase and strengthen its international defense and security engagements (IDSE) with other countries under the Duterte government’s independent foreign policy.
Andolong added that the MOU provides a framework for cooperation in the field of defense, “on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit.”
“Through the MOU, both countries agreed to cooperate in defense and security policy, military education, training and capacity building, military equipment, logistics and maintenance, defense industry and technology, and other areas mutually approved by both parties,” Andolong said.
“This will pave the way for exchanges of delegations and personnel; personnel for on-the-job-training; information, documentation and materials; and participation in seminars, workshops and other activities organized by both countries,” he added.