ASEAN-related meeting begins in Bohol today

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

"So at least verbally he said he was coming", said Paynor, who also heads the National Organizing Committee of this year's ASEAN Summit.

In a phone call in December a year ago, President Duterte invited then President-elect Trump to the ASEAN Summit.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Paynor confirmed that United States President Donald Trump will be visiting the Philippines in November 2017 for the ASEAN meeting.

For his part, Duterte, however, said he was not sure whether Trump would visit the Philippines.

"I do not know but he seems to be very busy".

This vote of confidence was indeed warmly welcomed by ASEAN officials, as the White House had finally given "very positive indications" about USA interests in the region, outgoing Indonesian permanent representative to ASEAN Rahmat Pramono said.

Amb. Paynor added, "Now that he is hosting, he did say, 'Oh, hindi lang pala ganoon kadali.' [ Oh, it's was really that easy.] So, we are running him through what he needs to do from 10 - in fact, from 9:30 in the morning all the way up to the finish the following day in Davao".

Robespierre Bolivar told a news conference that Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo will go to the United States in early May to attend the meeting between the ASEAN FMs and the US state secretary. "And numerous leaders who do not attend do so because they have internal issues which prevent them from coming", Paynor said.

On another matter, Mr. Duterte might visit South Korea, an ASEAN dialogue partner, in the "second half of this year" - according to the Korean newspaper Maeil Business News Korea which cited Korea Importers Association (KOIMA).

At the same time, President Widodo will join President Duterte at the launching of the Davao-General Santos-Bitung Ro-Ro sea linkage route on April 30 in Davao.

President Rodrigo Duterte will welcome next week Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia for a formal bilateral meeting.

Asean officials will discuss trade negotiations and hold other related meetings at Hennan Resort on Panglao Island on April 19-22, he said.

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