Philippines and United States agree to reduce joint military exercises

November 23, 2016 04:43

Philippine and United States military officials agreed to scale back joint exercises and reduce US troop deployments, a Philippine general involved in the talks said on Tuesday, though a statement issued by the allies spoke of "close cooperation."

The joint statement omitted mention of any reduced level of engagement between the two militaries, though President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his opposition to having foreign troops on Philippines' soil and has threatened to scrap exercises and abrogate pacts.Reading the joint statement, spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said there would be continued "close cooperation in areas central to both our national and security interests."

That would include humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, counter-terrorism and maritime security, he said

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