PH, US panels schedule another round of talks
MANILA, Philippines – Contrary to expectations, the Philippines and US panels negotiating a new military agreement concluded their 7th round of talks this week without a final agreement. Another round of talks is scheduled in April.
“We are moving forward on many key provisions and it is crucial at this point that both sides are clear on their common understanding of these key provisions and of the thrust of the agreement,” a statement from the government quoted Philipine panel chairman Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino as saying.
"An eighth round of negotiations is expected to be held in early April," the statement added.
The agreement will allow increased presence of American troops in the Philippines. They will be allowed access to and build facilities inside the country's military bases. (READ known details of the agreements here.)
The statement didn't elaborate on additional agreements reached during the 7th round of talks.
The talks are in the final stages. It is expected that the deal will be signed during the visit of US President Barack Obama to the country in late April. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com
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