No new US bases in PH, says envoy
MANILA, Philippines – The United States (US) will not establish new military bases in the Philippines as part of the Increased Rotational Presence (IRP) framework agreement, US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg said Monday.
“Let me say clearly, we’re not talking about bases or any kind of new bases for the US,” Goldberg said in a press conference when asked about other details of the agreement being negotiated.
Part of the IRP’s goals is to help improve the Philippine military’s disaster response capabilities and maritime defense awareness, Goldberg said. “It’s important for both countries.”
The US has previously decided to reposition majority of its military assets towards Asia as part of its rebalancing strategy.
Goldberg presented his credentials to President Benigno Aquino III Monday, several days after being sworn in as ambassador last November 21.
His previous post was Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research since June 2010. He also served as ambassador to Bolivia from 2006-2008.
In a video message released by the US Embassy when he arrived last November 26, Goldberg said that the country was facing a great challenge after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan) devastated provinces across the Visayas region.
“I arrive at a moment of great challenge in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda,” Goldberg said in his message.
“We feel motivated by your spirit and impressed by your determination to rebuild lives and livelihood in the tradition of ‘damayan’,” he said.
Goldberg cited the “historic relationship” between the Philippines and the US, saying he would like to “broaded and deepen” that relationship.
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