2 Australian navy ships on goodwill visit to Philippines

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MANILA, Philippines – Two Australian navy vessels, including a helicopter dock that's the country's biggest ship, have arrived in the Philippines for a five-day goodwill visit as Australia seeks an increased security presence and greater influence in the region.

Her Majesty's Australian Ship Adelaide, a landing helicopter dock, and HMAS Darwin, a guided missile frigate, docked Tuesday in Manila. Philippine navy officials and Australia's ambassador to the Philippines, Amanda Gorley, welcomed crew members from the ships.

Gorley said the visit's primary focus is maritime security and stability as well as disaster response.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Friday that a policy paper to be released later this year would spell out guidelines on how Australia can maximize and exercise power and influence to defend a rules-based international order that is under stress.

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