Thursday, May 25, 2017

US, PHL ties still strong despite warming of relationship with Russia, China

From the Philippine News Agency (May 25): US, PHL ties still strong despite warming of relationship with Russia, China

US and Philippine ties remain very strong despite the country's warming defense and security ties with Russia and China.

This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in an interview on PNA Exclusive in Moscow, Russia around 2 p.m. Tuesday (7 p.m., Manila time).

This cooperation does not mean that the Philippines is veering away from its long-standing ally, he added.

"No, we are not veering away from the US. We still have a very robust relationship. In fact we just finished our 'Balikatan' exercises in (Fort) Magsaysay (Nueva Ecija) and other parts of the country. There was this big opening and closing ceremonies last week, and we still have those, and we may have some naval exercise in the south later on so that they may join our patrol in the Sulu Sea so that we can deter the kidnappers there," Lorenzana stressed.

>The DND chief was with President Rodrigo Duterte on his official trip to five-day Russian trip which was cut short by the ongoing clash with security forces and Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur.

We still have a relationship with the US, we still have the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement with them, and other relationships are still ongoing. The President has not abbreviated any of those agreements with the US," Lorenzana pointed out.

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