Philippines, US disagree in troop deployment talks

Nov 5, 2013, 1:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippine defense chief said Tuesday that disagreements between U.S. and Filipino negotiators are prolonging talks on an accord allowing an increase in American military presence in the country.

Negotiations began in August on a defense agreement that would allow larger numbers of U.S. troops to have temporary access to Philippine military camps and bring in aircraft, ships and other equipment. U.S. troops have already been allowed to train Filipino anti-terrorism forces in the southern Philippines since 2002.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said one key issue involves a U.S. failure to clearly accept Philippine control over and access to temporary American facilities to be set up in local camps.

“They can’t say yes or no but what will happen if we won’t have access? Those bases will look like their bases,” Gazmin said in a telephone interview.

“You can say there is a kind of an impasse, a disagreement,” he said, but added he was optimistic that the differences could be overcome.

U.S. Embassy officials did not immediately comment.

Philippine negotiators have been told to ensure that any agreement would comply with the Philippine Constitution and laws and that the U.S. would not have exclusive use of any facility established within selected Philippine military camps, Philippine officials have said.

There were also differences on how to word certain provisions of the agreement, Gazmin said.

The next negotiating session has not been scheduled. The differences mean an agreement may be reached next year at the earliest.

The Philippines’ desire to bolster its defense while engaged in territorial disputes in the South China Sea has dovetailed with Washington’s intention to pivot away from years of heavy military engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq to Asia.

Hundreds of American troops have been stationed in the southern Philippines for counter-terrorism training since 2002.

The presence of foreign troops is a sensitive issue in the Philippines, a former American colony. The Philippine Senate voted in 1991 to close down major U.S. bases. A pact ratified in 1999 allowed temporary visits such as joint exercises.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

People search a collapsed building following an earthquake in Azmarin town, Idlib province, norther...
Associated Press

Death toll soars after powerful earthquake rocks Turkey and Syria

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked wide swaths of Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday, killing and injuring thousands of people.
18 hours ago
FILE - A fuel trucks drives along a highway in Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 27, 2023. European Union go...
Associated Press

Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine

The new sanctions create uncertainty about prices as the 27-nation European Union finds new supplies of diesel from the U.S., Middle East and India.
2 days ago
(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
4 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
4 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Philippines, US disagree in troop deployment talks