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Philippines assures ties with US 'rock-solid'

Philippine foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay guaranteed that there was no shift in policy with respect to the Americans. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Manila, NCR, Philippines Sep 13, 2016, 05.24 PM (IST)
The Philippines assured the United States on Tuesday that a treaty between them would be honoured and security ties were "rock-solid", despite President Rodrigo Duterte's profane tirades against US President Barack Obama. 

The firebrand leader launched more verbal salvos on Monday. Duterte said he was "not a fan" of Washington and that the US special forces stationed in the country were complicating counter-insurgency operations.  

Philippine foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay sought to downplay Duterte's comments.

He guaranteed that there was no shift in Philippines' policy with respect to the Americans. 

Philippines is dependent on the United States as it competes with China over the maritime dispute. 

Duterte's spokesman Ernesto Abella assured that the administration would honour its existing defence agreements. 

He said it also included the 2014 accord wherein the US military had access to at least five Philippine bases. 

In April, the Philippine Navy conducted joint naval patrols with the US in the South China Sea to counter Chinese actions. 

But on Tuesday, Duterte said the country would refrain from similar exercises to avoid any further tensions in the region. 

"We will not join any expedition of patrolling the seas. I will not allow it because I do not want my country to be involved in a hostile act," Duterte said.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
 
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