The US government will expand and renovate a strategic airport on a southern Philippine island where American forces have been helping Philippine troops fight al-Qaida-linked militants, officials said.
The US$3.7 million (â‚¬2.6 million) aid package for Jolo island, a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf rebels, was requested by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during a recent meeting with US President George W. Bush, American Ambassador Kristie Kenney said Monday.
Kenney said the funds were on top of US$190 million (â‚¬135 million) pledged by Washington over the next five years to improve the infrastructure and economy in the violence-torn southern Philippines.
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