US, PHL hold 6th round of EDC talks in Washington

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014


FULL respect for Philippine sovereignty, non-permanence of United States (US) troops and no US basing in the Philippines was pushed by the negotiating panel in a dialogue with the American defense team, official said Wednesday.

On the 6th round of negotiations on the proposed Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation (EDC) on March 4 and 5 in Washington, DC, with the US negotiating panel, defense undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, chairman of the Philippine negotiating panel said they continue to articulate and promote the country's national values and interests as well as the mutuality of benefits and respect for the Philippine Constitution, including the prohibition against nuclear weapons in the exchange of dialogue.

"We look forward to building on the substantive progress we have had during the previous round in this forthcoming sixth round," he said.

The negotiation on the proposed agreement on EDC started in 2013.

During the fifth round of the negotiation in January, both the Philippines and the US negotiating panels re-affirmed their commitment to enhancing their cooperation in the security and related fields, particularly in humanitarian assistance and disaster response, while acknowledging that the proposed agreement must be guided by the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement and other international legal instruments and consistent with their respective Constitutions and laws. (Sunnex)

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