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Obama ‘confident’ US-Philippine defense pact will proceed

/ 10:12 AM November 18, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, and Philippines' President Benigno Aquino III, left, arrive for a news conference in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, ahead of the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

U.S. President Barack Obama and Aquino arrive for a news conference in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, ahead of the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AP

MANILA, Philippines — President Barack Obama says he’s confident the U.S. will be able to execute a defense cooperation agreement with the Philippines despite a hold-up in implementation.

Obama is meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Manila. He says the agreement will proceed but that it must go through the process.

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READ: Obama to give PH 2 warships / Aquino thanks Obama for military support

The two countries signed a pact last year giving American forces temporary access to selected military camps and permission to preposition assets. But it’s been delayed by a challenge before the Philippine Supreme Court.

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Aquino says the agreement is welcomed “with very open arms.”

The leaders are discussing how to lower tensions in maritime disputes with China through peaceful means.

Obama also says he welcomes interest by the Philippines in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. TVJ

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TAGS: Aquino, Barack Obama, Benigno Aquino III, bilateral agreement, defense pact, Obama, President Aquino, Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact
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