US Signs Pact with Philippines to up Military Force in Contested Areas, Obama to Visit Fort Bonifacio
By Rama Mohan | April 28, 2014 8:35 PM EST
As part of the last leg of his four-nation Asia tour, United States President Barack Obama arrived in Philippines on 28 April. The President arrived in the country's capital Manila, hours after the two countries signed a new defence agreement. The pact will enable the US to up its military presence in Philippines.
The deal with Philippines is said to be the significant one among the US deals with the other three Asian countries during the Obama's visit, US media reports said. Philippines is working with the US for beefed up security agreement as tensions were on the rise with China over the West Philippines (South China Sea), a contested region. The pact with the US will help the the Asian country to hinder China's invasion into the disputed areas.
During the two-day visit to Philippines, Obama was scheduled to meet the Philippine President Benigno Aquino, and attend a State dinner in his honour at the Malacanang presidential palace.
The US President was also scheduled to visit Fort Bonifacio on 29 April at 10.15 am, according to the US Embassy. Obama was also scheduled to address the US and Philippino soldiers at Fort Bonifacio.
On Sunday, the US President toured Malaysia after arriving in the country on Saturday. He visited the country's largest National Mosque spread over five hectares, with a capacity to hold about 15,000 people. Obama's visit to the mosque is seen as America's gesture towards Muslims, the predominant population in Malaysia. Obama described the country as a model of democracy, where the majority Muslims co-exist with minority groups of Buddhists, Christians and Hindus.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, at a joint media conference with Obama on Sunday, expressed his gratitude to the US for its help in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Obama promised to help Malaysia in the continuing search for the missing plane.
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