MANILA, Philippines, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The United States is improving bilateral relations with the Philippines, officials said.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said last weekend that relations with Philippines, generally good with the United States, have reached a new level.
"We've done a lot behind the scenes, with the remarkable support from the Department of Defense, the number of efforts with respect to Mindanao, and other elements on the security side," Campbell said in a report in The Manila Standard.
"But at the highest level, we have not worked closely in recent years during the period of 1950s, 1960s or 1970s. We want to enhance our high level engagement but we want to do it in a different way than we did in the past,"
In May the United States announced that it would nearly triple funding for the Philippines to $30 million in U.S. foreign military financing.
The FMF funding doesn't include the transfer of 20 UH-1H Huey reconditioned helicopters, built by U.S. defense contractor Bell Helicopter; a Cyclone class PC-1 coastal patrol ship built by Louisiana's Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport; or a Hamilton class cutter, built in Louisiana's Avondale Shipyards.