U.S. says no official demand from Philippines to pull out special forces

September 12, 2016 3:41 PM EDT

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte speaks to members of the Filipino community in Jakarta, Indonesia September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department spokesman, commenting on remarks by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday calling for the withdrawal of U.S. special forces from a southern island, said Washington had not officially received such a demand.

State Department spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing that he had seen reports about Duterte's comments, but "we are not aware of any official communication by the Philippine government ... to seek that result." The United States is committed to its alliance with the Philippines, he added.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Eric Beech)

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