VFA termination 'wrong direction' for Philippines - Pentagon chief

VFA termination 'wrong direction' for Philippines - Pentagon chief

Washington confirms that it has received the notice from the Philippines which calls for the termination of the Visiting Forces of Agreement (VFA) between Manila and the United States of America (USA).

According to US Defense Secretary Mark Esperthe Philippines decision to move the termination of the VFA between the two allies is a wrong move.

"I do think it would be a move in the wrong direction as — as we both bilaterally with the Philippines and collectively with  a number of other partners and allies in the region are trying to say to the Chinese, 'You must obey the international rules of order. You must obey, you know, abide by international norms,'" Esper told reporters.

(photo credit to owner)

"And as we try and, you know, bolster our presence and compete with them (China) in this era of great power competition, I think it's a move in the wrong direction..." he also said.

"[T]he United States has about 300 engagements and exercises that we conduct bilaterally with the Philippines," he said.
"What’s at risk without a VFA?  Well, without a VFA, it puts at risk things like these engagements, like these exercises," he said, adding that there is "a recognized, broad value of not only maintaining our Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that will beget further procurements and interoperability between the U.S.-Philippine alliance, but the very practical application of a Visiting Forces Agreement that enables these activities like port calls, like engagements, like exercises."

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Report from  Philstar

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