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PIA Press Release
2009/02/24

Review of VFA premature, US Amb. Kenney says

Manila (24 February) -- United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney said that any move to review the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is "premature" until the custody issue of convicted American Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Smith is resolved.

Ambassador Kenney said the VFA, which governs the conduct of American forces in the Philippines, is "serving our countries very,very well."

She said "It's premature to talk about reviewing until we work through this case," adding that when the Smith case is resolved, the US and the Philippines can "talk about improvements" to the VFA.

The US Ambassador also said that the US State Department has yet to comment on the Supreme Court's decision to return Smith's custody to the Philippines.

The High Court upheld the constitutionality of the VFA, but nullified an agreement between Kenney and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo that placed Smith in detention at the US embassy. (PIA) [top]

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