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Philippines Restores Key U.S. Military Agreement

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United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin views the military honor guard at Camp Aguinaldo military camp in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines Friday, July 30, 2021. Austin is visiting Manila to hold talks with Philippine officials to boost defense ties and possibly discuss the The Visiting Forces Agreement between the US and Philippines. (Rolex dela Pena/Pool Photo via AP)

A key military agreement between the U.S. and the Philippines is back in effect. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to restore the Visiting Forces Agreement after meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Thursday.

The so-called VFA provides for the rotation of thousands of U.S. troops in and out of the Philippines for war drills and exercises. The VFA has become more important as the U.S. and allies contend with an increasingly assertive China, particularly in the South China Sea.

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