The U.S. Embassy welcomed Thursday morning the decision of the Philippine government to suspend for another six months the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
In a statement the U.S. Embassy sent to Palawan News, it said the suspension is a welcome development in the continuing alliance between the U.S. and the Philippines.
We welcome the Government of the Philippines’ November 11 decision to suspend termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) for another six months,” it said.
“The U.S.-Philippines alliance remains vital to our robust, deep-rooted bilateral relationship. The United States will continue to partner closely with the Philippines to strengthen our mutual security ties,” the statement added.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of the VFA in February 2020 but later decided to temporarily prevent his decision in June.
The suspension of termination was announced Wednesday in a live update by Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. days after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election.
“My president, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, has instructed me to convey with the appropriate formality his decision to extend the suspension of the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement by yet another six months,” Locsin said.
He said this is to enable the government to find a “more enhanced, mutually beneficial, mutually agreeable, and more effective and lasting arrangement of how to move forward” in both countries’ “mutual defense”.