US Defense chief appreciated Philippines for suspending VFA termination - DND
The US Secretary of Defense expressed his appreciation on the Philippine government’s decision to suspend the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Department of Defense said on Sunday.
DND said Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper held a conference call last June 12 to discuss developments on Philippines-US bilateral defense relations.
“Secretary Esper expressed his appreciation for the DND’s support for the Philippine Government’s decision to suspend the termination of the Agreement Regarding the Treatment of US Armed Forces Visiting the Philippines (VFA),” it said.
Esper also said that developments on vaccines and therapeutics in the US are making very good progress and expressed their willingness to share them with US allies and partners once available.
For his part, Lorenzana expressed his appreciation for the medical assistance and donations of medical supplies provided by the US government and also took the opportunity to share the Philippines’ response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The discussion also covered the security situation in the South China Sea (SCS), counter-terrorism and logistics cooperation, particularly on the capability upgrades of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” DND said.
“Both sides committed to sustain dialogues amidst the pandemic and strengthen cooperation between the two defense establishments,” it added. Ella Dionisio/DMS