Philippines, US say military ties remain robust

Statement comes after President Duterte promised to reduce military cooperation with long-standing ally Washington

Philippines, US say military ties remain robust

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Philippines has underlined that military ties with the United States remain robust, following previous loud opposition from President Rodrigo Duterte to the continuation of war games with Washington.

In recent months, Duterte has promised to reduce military cooperation with its long-standing ally and instead expand security ties with Russia and China.

In a joint statement released Tuesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Ricardo Visaya and U.S. Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris committed to an alliance and cooperation on maritime security, counter-terrorism and humanitarian aid that has been in place since 1951.

Philippines news site Rappler quoted Visaya and Harris as saying that the meeting "ensures continued, robust relations".

"This highlights the enduring commitment of both countries to the U.S.-Philippine alliance," it added.

They said they look forward to continued cooperation in areas central to both countries' national and security interests, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and maritime security.

Duterte's defense department had earlier called for military drills to be reduced from 13 to around six and for training to be re-focused on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and counter-terrorism.

The Philippines had also said that it wanted two naval exercises scrapped, that include territorial defense training.

Officials had previously said that the proposal was to be presented to the U.S. during Tuesday's meeting.

Rappler reported that the details of any agreement made during the meeting was not released, however, it quoted sources as confirming that Philippine-U.S. Amphibious Landing Exercises and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training have been scrapped.

 

Last Mod: 22 Kasım 2016, 16:53
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