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US rebalance not purely military, says Carter

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The United States’ rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region is not a purely military concept, but economic and political as well, according to US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

During a media conference for the Second US-Philippines 2+2 Ministerial Consultations in Washington on Jan. 12, Carter said the Philippines plays a central role in the US rebalance to Asia Pacific.

Aside from Carter, the meeting was attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

“The US rebalance to the Asia Pacific has an important security dimension that can be captured by looking over the past decades of peace and stability in the region, and the role that the United States and Philippines have played together in keeping the peace,” Carter said.

He said the Philippines is a critical ally of the US as the latter continues to gather and strengthen its rebalance.

In a joint statement of the US-Philippines Ministerial Dialogue issued after the Jan. 12 meeting, Manila welcomed US reaffirmation of its ironclad commitment to the Philippines’ defense.

Both countries vowed to coordinate closely in implementing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and to enhance security and defense cooperation.

 The officials reaffirmed their commitment to continue strengthening the alliance by ensuring mutual defense and security, as well as contributing to regional peace, stability, and economic prosperity.

The Philippines and the US are set to discuss and finalize the full implementation of EDCA, which was recently declared constitutional by the Supreme Court.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said a board would review and fine-tune details and implementation of EDCA on a per activity basis.

 

 

 

ASIA PACIFIC

DEFENSE SECRETARY ASHTON CARTER

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT

FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT

JAN

MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS

PHILIPPINES

PHILIPPINES MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE

ROSARIO AND DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY

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