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Philippines, US reach agreement on new security deal

Published on Apr 11, 2014 7:22 PM
Philippines Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino (left) shakes hands with Ambassador Eric John (right) chair of the US negotiating panel, during the seventh round of talks between the Philippines and the US on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation between the two countries at the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Headquarters in Quezon city north-east of Manila on March 24, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippines and the United States reached agreement on Friday on a new security accord allowing American military forces to share local bases for maritime and humanitarian operations, a senior Philippine defence officials said.

The two oldest allies in the Asia-Pacific region had been negotiating a new military deal for nearly eight months to increase US rotational presence in the Philippines and improve its former colony's defence capability.

The pact will also raise the level of protection against China, which has strengthened its naval presence in disputed areas in the South China Sea after seizing control of Scarborough Shoal in 2012.

Mr Pio Lorenzo Batino, Undersecretary of Defence and chair of the Philippine negotiating panel, said both sides had reached a "consensus on key points" during an eighth round of talks.

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