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Philippines extends termination process of U.S. troop deal, eyes long-term defence pact

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines has suspended its decision to scrap a two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States for a second time as the allies work on a long-term mutual defence arrangement, Manila’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The new deadline will reach the early days of President-elect Joe Biden’s term.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the extra six months “To enable us to find a more enhanced, mutually beneficial, mutually agreeable, and more effective and lasting arrangement on how to move forward in our mutual defense,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said in a statement.

“The past four years have changed the South China Sea from one of uncertainty about great powers’ intentions to one of predictability and resulting stability with regard to what can and cannot be done,” Locsin said. Read from source….