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Philippine government scraps the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement with the US

The Philippine government scrapped a 20-year-old security pact with the United States on 11 February. The pact allows the American troops to take part in the military exercises and humanitarian operations in the country. The agreement will remain in force for now and will lapse in 180 days. The decision was announced by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA): The agreement will allow the American forces to train in the Philippines. The agreement has seen the US rotate forces through Philippine military bases since 1999.  Also, it has given the US a key strategic foothold near the disputed South China Sea.  Under the agreement, the US has around 300 bilateral engagements and exercises each year with the Philippine military. The US has provided intelligence and training to Philippine forces that were crucial in their fight against local terror organizations affiliated with radical jihadi groups such as Islamic State. Republic of the Philippines: President: Rodrigo Duterte Vice President: Maria Leonor Robredo Currency: Peso (PHP) Capital: Manila Official languages: Filipino, English

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