US, Philippines agree on 5 locations covered by defense pact

(From AP)

The U.S. and the Philippines have agreed on locations where American forces will have access as the U.S. looks to reassert its presence in Asia, officials said.

U.S. Army soldiers conduct an ambush drill inside a Philippine army camp in Fort Magsaysay, north of Manila in this file photo

U.S. Army soldiers conduct an ambush drill inside a Philippine army camp in Fort Magsaysay in this file photo

The allies were holding strategic talks in Washington amid heightened tensions in the South China Sea, where the Philippines is challenging China’s sweeping territorial claims.

Senior U.S. defense official Amy Searight said there was agreement on five locations to be covered by a 10-year defense cooperation agreement. She did not identify them.

Searight predicted a “momentous” year for the U.S.-Philippine relationship. She said Defense Secretary Ash Carter would travel to the Philippines in April to discuss implementation of the pact.

The pact was signed by U.S. and Philippine officials in 2014 and has a 10-year lifespan, but only got approval in January after the Philippine Supreme Court ruled it was constitutional. Read More

 



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