March 20, 2018

Trump expected to visit PH for ASEAN meet in November

21 April 2017, 12:42 | Kevin Scott

Interfaith surroundings: United States Vice President Mike Pence (second right), wife Karen Pence (third left) and daughters Charlotte and Audrey, are accompanied by Grand Imam Nasaruddin Umar (right) and the Istiqlal Mosque committee chairman Muhammad Muzammil Basyuni during a tour of Southeast Asia's largest mosque, Istiqlal Mosque, in Central Jakarta on Thursday.

"As of now, President Trump for instance when President Duterte called him up to congratulate him, had already indicated that he was coming in November so at least verbally he said he was coming", Paynor, Malacanang's chief protocol officer, said in a news briefing. The day's meetings will be culminated by a gala dinner hosted by President Rodrigo Duterte, chair of the 30th ASEAN Summit.

Meanwhile, the President is also expected to hold separate bilateral meetings with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Sultan Haji Hassana Bolkiah of Brunei next week.

According to Paynor, Widodo's visit will be in reciprocation to the state visit of Duterte to Indonesia last September.

Paynor elaborated on specific issues Duterte may discuss with Widodo.

On April 29, ASEAN leaders will also attend the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center.

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2017 is a full year for ASEAN and its current annual host, founding member-nation the Philippines.

"On 29th April which is the actual summit, we will have all 10 [ASEAN] leaders meeting up at the PICC and we'll have a retreat at the Coconut Palace", he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella said Mr. Duterte's South Korea trip is "not yet confirmed".

Paynor said that while security measures have been in place, officials in charge for Asean summit are also considering Duterte's instruction to maintain "normal flow of daily activities" in Manila during the four-day long Asean meetings.

But, ASEAN experts like Ibrahim Almuttaqi of the Jakarta-based Habibie Center remained cautious about the prospect of a more engaged U.S. government.

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