PH, US finish talks on nuclear cooperation deal

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 16) — The Philippines and the United States completed negotiations on the "historic" civil nuclear cooperation deal during a meeting between US Vice President Kamala Harris and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in San Francisco, California, the White House said Thursday.

"The Vice President and President Marcos also welcomed the conclusion of a historic '123' civil nuclear cooperation agreement, which will deepen our partnership to build a global clean energy economy and strengthen our shared commitment to improving energy security and advancing the global nonproliferation regime," the White House readout said.

During her visit in Manila in November 2022, Harris announced the launch of discussions with Marcos on the so-called "123" agreement, which is expected to provide the legal basis for US exports of nuclear equipment and material to the Philippines.

It also aims to support expanded partnership on zero-emission energy and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. 

The two leaders held their fifth meeting at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in the US.

READ: Marcos flies to US again for APEC: Why Filipinos should care

Harris also announced a new partnership with the Philippines that wil grow and diversify the global semiconductor ecosystem under the US' International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund.

Marcos earlier expressed the Philippines' readiness to collaborate with the US for the development of the semiconductor industry.

"This partnership will help create a more resilient, secure, and sustainable global semiconductor value chain," the White House said.

Harris also reaffirmed the US' commitment to the Philippines in defending sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.

The US vice president underscored that "an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, would invoke US mutual defense commitments."

READ: US reaffirms defense treaty duty, condemns China’s ‘provocative’ actions in Ayungin