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Philippines, US to sign defence pact

US and Filipino soldiers take part in a joint military exercise on Palawan island, on April 25, 2012The Philippines and the United States announced they would sign an agreement on Monday to allow a greater US military presence on Filipino soil for the next decade. The deal will be signed in Manila a few hours before US President Barack Obama is due to arrive for a two-day visit to the Philippines, one of the United States’ most loyal but militarily weakest Asian allies which is embroiled in an increasingly hostile territorial row with China. He said it was “the most significant agreement that we have concluded with the Philippines in decades”. The deal with the Philippines comes in the month before the United States sends 1,150 Marines to Australia to bolster a roughly 200-member force already in Darwin.

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