US, Philippines reach deal on troops

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The United States and the Philippines have reached a 10-year agreement that would allow a larger U.S. military presence in this Southeast Asian nation as it grapples with increasingly tense territorial disputes with China.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement is to be signed Monday at the main military camp in the Philippine capital, Manila, before President Barack Obama arrives on the last leg of a four-country Asian tour.

U.S. and Filipino officials confirmed the deal ahead of Obama's stop and portrayed it is as a central part of his weeklong Asia swing.

The pact would give American forces temporary access to selected military camps and allow them to preposition fighter jets and ships.

Evan Medeiros, senior director for Asian affairs at the White House's National Security Council, says the size and duration of the U.S. presence still has to be worked out with the Philippine government.