International

Aug 8, 2013 7:16 AM by Associated Press

US, Philippines to open troops talks

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine government has informed the country's congressional leaders that it will soon start negotiations with the United States on a larger American troop presence.

In a letter to the Philippine Congress obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, the secretaries of national defense and foreign affairs said that allowing American troops to have an "increased rotational presence" would help the country attain a "minimum credible defense" to guard its territory while it struggles to modernize its own military.

The Philippines has been embroiled in a territorial dispute with China over areas in the South China Sea, and has reached out to Washington to help upgrade its armed forces.

The Philippine Constitution prohibits foreign troops from being permanently based in the country and from engaging in combat operations.

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