US, PHL begin talks over new security deal amid tensions in South China Sea


(Updated 9:21 a.m.) HONOLULU, Hawaii — As tensions in the South China Sea continue to escalate, the Philippines and the United States have begun negotiations for a new deal to ensure security in the region.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told members of the Philippine media in Honolulu on Thursday night that the two countries are in talks about a so-called General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).

The agreement is expected to improve the flow of communication between Manila and Washington, D.C., he said.

Gazmin had a one-on-one meeting with his counterpart US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter after the change-of-command ceremonies at the US Pacific Command on Thursday.

More from: