Philippines Acknowledges Australia's Right To Have Nuclear Submarine Fleet

Philippines Acknowledges Australia's Right to Have Nuclear Submarine Fleet

The Philippines acknowledges Australia's right to acquire a nuclear submarine fleet and intends to build up its own defense capabilities in the region, the country's defense ministry announced on Friday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th September, 2021) The Philippines acknowledges Australia's right to acquire a nuclear submarine fleet and intends to build up its own defense capabilities in the region, the country's defense ministry announced on Friday.

"Lorenzana acknowledged Australia's right to improve its submarine defense capability and highlighted that, as a country strategically situated in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is also building its own capability to protect its territories," the ministry said following the phone conversation between Philippine Foreign Minister Delfin Lorenzana and his Australian counterpart, Peter Dutton.

Lorenzana noted that Manila strives to maintain good defense relations with all of its regional partners.

Australia, in turn, assured the Philippines that its nuclear submarines will not be armed with nuclear weapons. Dutton stressed that Australia wants to be seen as a "neighbor that promotes regional peace."

On Wednesday, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a defense partnership called AUKUS, which allows Australia to secure the backing of US and UK in its bid to acquire nuclear-propelled submarines. Several countries, including Russia and Indonesia, have expressed their concern over the partnership and called for compliance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.