Kerry in Philippines to show US support

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MANILA -- US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Tuesday in the Philippines from Vietnam to inspect typhoon recovery efforts and to show American backing for its longtime ally.

A day earlier, Kerry pledged a $32.5-million financial assistance to help southeast Asian nations, including Vietnam and the Philippines, in protecting their territorial waters amid rising tensions with China in the South China Sea. [Read the related story.]

On Wednesday, Kerry will visit Tacloban, which was hardest hit by last month's deadly Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Vietnam has been involved in major trade negotiations with the United States as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement which the US encouraged the Philippines to join in.

Washington has also backed a decade-long Philippine campaign against al-Qaida-linked local militants. (AP)

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