US affirms defense alliance with PH
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III has reiterated the American government’s commitment to its defense alliance with the Philippines, particularly the Mutual Defense Treaty (MTD) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
Austin talked to his Filipino counterpart, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, about the strong ties between their countries in a phone conversation on Feb. 9, the US Embassy said in a statement.
“Secretary Austin affirmed the US’ commitment to the US-Philippines alliance and our bilateral MTD and VFA, highlighting the value the VFA brings to both countries,” it added. The two officials also discussed the importance of enhancing the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and increasing interoperability between their troops “through a variety of bilateral security cooperation activities,” the US Embassy said.
Other topics taken up were regional security challenges, including the South China Sea, counterterrorism and maritime security.
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