binay-obamaManila: The Philippines and the United States signed an agreement to allow a bigger US military presence on Filipino territory, during visit of US President Barack Obama to Manila.
Manila was last stop in Obama’s four-nation Asia tour. The agreement, which will have an initial 10-year term, is touted as the highlight of Obama’s first visit to the Philippines, the United States’ oldest ally in the region.
It sets the framework for a beefed-up rotation of US troops, ships and warplanes through the Philippines, part of a rebalancing of US resources towards fast-growing Asia and the Pacific.
The deal comes at a time when the Southeast Asian nation is struggling to boost its military capability in the face of China’s growing maritime presence in disputed areas of the South China Sea.
Obama shook hands with Philippine officials at the Manila airport tarmac and waved to the crowd before boarding his Marine One chopper that took him to the presidential palace for bilateral talks with Philippine President Benigno Aquino. He was greeted with a 21-gun salute upon his arrival at the palace.