US welcomes PH decision to defer VFA termination anew | Global News
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US welcomes PH decision to defer VFA termination anew

/ 11:32 AM November 12, 2020
US Embassy in Manila

The US Embassy in Manila. (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The United States on Thursday welcomed the Philippines’ decision to defer anew the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between Manila and Washington.

In a statement, the US Embassy in Manila said it will “continue to partner closely with the Philippines to strengthen our mutual security ties.”

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“The U.S.-Philippines alliance remains vital to our robust, deep-rooted bilateral relationship,” it added.

On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to defer the suspension of the VFA abrogation for another six months.

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Locsin said the extension will enable the two sides to “find a more enhanced, mutually beneficial, mutually agreeable, and more effective and lasting arrangement on how to move forward in our mutual defense.”

Duterte first ordered the abrogation of the VFA, which governs the conduct of US troops who take part in military exercises in the Philippines, back in February.

But in June, the chief executive decided to postpone the termination of the VFA due to the coronavirus pandemic and “heightened superpower tensions.”

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TAGS: Features, Foreign affairs, nation, United States, US Embassy in Manila, VFA, Visiting Forces Agreement
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