US welcomes suspension of VFA termination

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The United States government welcomes Philippines’ decision to suspend the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the US Embassy in Manila said.

The US Embassy said that on June 1, the Government of the Philippines notified the US Embassy in the Philippines of its decision to suspend termination of the VFA.

“The United States welcomes the Philippine government’s decision.  Our long-standing alliance has benefited both countries, and we look forward to continued close security and defense cooperation with the Philippines,” it added.

The suspension of termination, as communicated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in its diplomatic note, is good for 6 months with an option to extend for another six months.

The diplomatic note, posted by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr., states that the DFA is informing the US Embassy “that in light of political and other developments in the region, the termination of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of America Regarding the Treatment of United States Forces Visiting the Philippines contained in Note No. 20-0463 dated 11 February 2020 is hereby suspended.”

“The suspension shall start on even date and shall continue for six months, which period is extendible by the Philippines for another six months, after which the tolling of the initial period in Note Verbale No. 20-0463 dated 11 February 2020 shall resume,” added in the diplomatic note.