MANILA – The United States Embassy in Manila on Thursday welcomed the Philippine government’s decision to suspend the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) for another six months.
“We welcome the Government of the Philippines’ November 11 decision to suspend termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) for another six months. The US-Philippines alliance remains vital to our robust, deep-rooted bilateral relationship,” it said in a statement.
“The United States will continue to partner closely with the Philippines to strengthen our mutual security ties,” it added.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to extend the suspension of the VFA’s abrogation was announced on Wednesday by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin.
Locsin said this would allow both states “to find a more enhanced, mutually beneficial, mutually agreeable, and more effective and lasting arrangement on how to move forward in our mutual defense”.
The VFA, signed in 1998, allows American troops who are participating in joint military exercises to visit Manila without passport and visa.
Duterte ordered the military deal’s termination in February 2020 but later decided to suspend said revocation for six months in June. (PNA)