DND welcomes NZ DPM and Foreign Affairs Minister, vows closer cooperation in defense and security

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024 (Quezon City) – Secretary of National Defense (SND) Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. welcomed the Right Honorable Winston Raymond Peters PC, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand (NZ), to the Department of National Defense (DND) on June 10, 2024, marking the first time that an official of such a level from their country visited the Department.

The Deputy Prime Minister was in the Philippines for a two-day official visit from June 10-11, 2024, as part of New Zealand’s efforts to maintain and boost engagements in Southeast Asia.

Secretary Teodoro welcomed Minister Peters’ visit following his bilateral meeting with H.E. Judith Collins KC MP, Minister of Defense of New Zealand, on the sidelines of the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue earlier this month. Secretary Teodoro also expressed appreciation for New Zealand’s staunch support to the Philippines and the timeliness of the two countries’ enhanced defense cooperation, which is a good step towards the negotiations of a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA).

Deputy Prime Minister Peters underscored the elevation of both nations’ defense relationship as a bulwark to address potential challenges in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and noted the efforts undertaken by the Philippines to make its diplomatic alliances more robust. Minister Peters also lauded the Department’s efforts to combat transnational organized crime and improve its intelligence efforts.

Among the highlights of the visit of Deputy Prime Minister Peters was the signing of the Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement (MLSA), a framework which facilitates the provision of logistics support between the two countries.  The instrument was signed on June 10, via ad referendum, by Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessments and International Affairs Marita I. Yoro, CESO III of the Department of National Defense, and Commodore Maxine Lawes, Commander Logistics of the New Zealand Defence Force.

« Back to News