US welcomes PH decision to defer VFA termination anew
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.”
“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.
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.
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