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Duterte wants foreign troops out

Duterte wants foreign troops out

Freyja 2016-10-26 16:27:52
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out anew at the United States on Tuesday and said it could forget a bilateral defence deal if he stayed in power long enough, in the latest jarring statement from Manila about the future of the alliance.

Duterte delivered his new broadside as he was about to board a plane for an official visit to fellow US ally Japan, a big investor in the Philippines.

In Tokyo, Duterte told an audience on Wednesday that he wants foreign troops out of his country, possibly within the next two years. He also said he is pursuing an independent foreign policy.

He was referring to visiting US troops, who presence in five Philippine military camps was established under a security deal signed during Duterte's predecessor as a counterbalance to China's military assertiveness. But Duterte has cozied up to Beijing while criticizing US foreign policy.

The Philippine leader is on a three-day visit to Japan. He is meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later Wednesday before attending a banquet hosted by Abe.

The volatile, crime-busting Duterte had on the eve of the visit softened his remarks last week about a "separation" from Washington, telling Japanese media he was not planning to change alliances and was only seeking to build trade and commerce with China.

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