Six nations to join in talks during US-Philippines drill
Manila, March 18 : Australia, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand will take part in a maritime security discussion with the US and the Philippines during a military exercise to be held in April, a Philippine official said.
The "Multinational Maritime Security Roundtable Discussion" is part of the upcoming Balikatan Exercise 2013, Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
The exercises will take place April 5-17.
However, the six other countries will not be taking part in the actual field training exercises which will be limited to Filipino and US forces alone, the official said.
"The roundtable discussion seeks to determine specific humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in high- traffic international waters, and build response confidence among multi-national partners," said Burgos.
"The event will be one of the highlights of this year's military exercise where more than 8,000 soldiers from the AFP and US military are set to participate," he said.
Burgos said the annual exercise seeks to "further promote and foster the existing friendship" between the two countries and "advance the security and stability of the region in the near future".