Philippine president wants foreign troops out in 2 years
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at Philippines Economic Forum in Tokyo, Japan October 26, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
TOKYO - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday that he wanted foreign military troops out of his country "probably in the next two years."
Duterte, who is on a three-day visit to Japan, made the remarks before his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later in the day.
Mentioning the US colonial control of the Philippines over half a century, Duterte said he would pursue an independent foreign policy and the Philippines will "survive" without US assistance.
Former Philippine president Benigno Aquino III signed an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US in 2014, which allowed the return of US troops to the Philippines after the country expelled US soldiers in the 1990s.
Duterte, who took office in June, has reportedly talked about abrogating defense agreements with the US several times over the past two months.
Earlier, he also called for the expulsion of about 100 US Special Forces posted in Zamboanga City on Mindanao, who were tasked to help the Philippine military fight against terrorism.