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PH, New Zealand to sign visiting forces agreement this year

By: Donna Pazzibugan - | June 11,2024 - 09:32 AM stock images

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will establish a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with New Zealand this year.

Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo and New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced this during Peters’ visit to Manila on Monday.

“Secretary Manalo and Minister Peters discussed opportunities for growing mutually beneficial two-way trade, investment and defense cooperation, including the negotiation and conclusion of a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement in 2024,” they said in a joint statement after their meeting.

READ: New Zealand’s Deputy PM to visit PH this week to boost diplomatic ties

Both also welcomed the signing of a Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement, which Manalo called a “pivotal document that will greatly enhance future military engagements between our nations.”

In 1999, the Philippines entered into a VFA with the United States that allowed the latter to resume its large-scale military presence in the country following the closure of its military bases in 1991.

READ: New Zealand prime minister visits Marcos in Malacañang

The country likewise signed in 2007 a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement with Australia that was ratified in 2012.

Manalo and Peters, meanwhile, “agreed on the important role maritime security and international law plays in ensuring peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

“I thanked New Zealand for its steadfast support for the challenges we are facing in the South China Sea, and we reaffirmed our continued commitment to uphold the rule of law as a pillar to achieving peace and security in the region,” Manalo said at a joint news conference on Monday.

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TAGS: New Zealand, Visiting Forces Agreement

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