November 17, 2016
Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay assured outgoing United States of America (USA) Secretary of State John Kerry on the continuation of the two countries’ military alliance in a bilateral meeting held in Lima, Peru.
In a press statement, Secretary Yasay discussed several issues raised during the meeting, including the existing Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the two countries. He clarified that although the Philippines will no longer engage in the joint-military exercises with the USA, the Philippines will respect and continue to be supportive in the other existing areas of mutual cooperation treaty with the USA. These include the war against illegal drugs, corruption, disaster mitigation and rapid disaster response.
The Secretary also said that further details of this joint cooperation would become clearer once recommendation from the Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board becomes available. He added that he and USA Admiral Harry Harris Jr., who will be arriving in the Philippines at the end of this month, would approve the recommendations made.
Meanwhile, both officials also agreed on strengthening trade and investment ties between the Philippines and the USA.
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