US gives $15.5 mln Philippine againts insurgents

According to a Philippine military report, the U.S. Department of Defense will fund a navy plan to acquire and install a network of high-frequency radio communications equipment for the southern region of the archipelago.

US gives $15.5 mln Philippine againts insurgents
Washington will give $15.5 million to the Philippines to tighten its southern maritime borders against Muslim insurgents, documents showed on Tuesday.

According to a Philippine military report seen by Reuters, the U.S. Department of Defense will fund a navy plan to acquire and install a network of high-frequency radio communications equipment for the southern region of the archipelago.

The Sulu and the Celebes seas, which separate the Philippines from Malaysia and Indonesia, contain busy shipping lanes and fishing areas.

Washington has also agreed to train, equip and help build up the Philippine military's naval defence capability under its 2007 National Defence Authorisation Act. About $4.4 million of the funds would be used to upgrade ageing UH-1H helicopters.

Since 2002, the United States, Manila's closest security ally, has deployed hundreds of its troops to help train and advise Filipino soldiers to attack Muslim insurgents.

A senior official at the Philippines' Department of National Defence told Reuters the United States was also helping Malaysia and Indonesia, both Muslim-majority nations, set up similar maritime border security programmes to prevent Muslim insurgents from gaining access to these waters.

Concerns

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, did not refer to the maritime border project when he met senior Philippine armed forces officials this week although he was briefed on anti-Muslim insurgent operations in the south.

Washington was more concerned about the regional security situation and China's military build-up and its growing political and economic influence in this part of the world, said a navy official who was privy to Mullen's meetings in Manila.

Rear Admiral Tyrone Pile, commander of Canada's naval fleet in the Pacific, told reporters that Canada was interested in taking part in maritime security exercises in the Asia-Pacific.

"Our intention is to increase our presence and frequency in the Asia-Pacific region," Pile said on Tuesday, after addressing students at a defence college in the main army base in Manila.

He said Canada would like to take part in existing exercises and training engagements in the region.

Pile said the security of the Philippines was important to Canada because the country lies along maritime and oil routes from the Middle East to the Pacific and to North America.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2008, 17:33
YORUM EKLE