Duterte, Trump to meet in per­son for first time in Viet­nam

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo Duterte and United States (US) Pres­i­dent Donal Trump will meet for the first time dur­ing the Asia Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (Apec) sum­mit in Viet­nam.

For­eign Af­fairs As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary Leo Her­rera-Lim said the chance that the two lead­ers would see each other was high, since there were “sev­eral en­gage­ments” at the Apec fo­rum that will be held in Danang, Viet­nam.

“So there [are] sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­changes,” Lim told Palace re­porters.

“Once you’re there in Danang, the op­por­tu­nity in­creases. So I think, most likely, they (Duterte and Trump) will [meet]. Mean­ing, the US will seek out our Pres­i­dent to even have, at best, a meet­ing on the side­lines of Apec,” he added.

Duterte will fly to Viet­nam on Novem­ber 8 for his par­tic­i­pa­tion in Apec sum­mit.

Lim said the Duterte and Trump might ei­ther hold a bi­lat­eral meet­ing or have pull-aside meet­ing on the side­lines of the in­ter­na­tional gath­er­ing.

If Duterte and Trump meet, Lim said they would likely dis­cuss two mat­ters, in­clud­ing “na­tional se­cu­rity, both at the coun­try level and re­gional level,” as well as “their de­sire to grow the dif­fer­ent en­gines of global econ­omy.”

“Both coun­tries have an in­ter­est to move our con­verg­ing agen­das for­ward. I think, the fact that it’s the first face-to­face meet­ing, some­times, both par­ties will try to max­i­mize the op­por­tu­nity,” the For­eign Af­fairs of­fi­cial said.

Duterte and Trump had the chance to com­mu­ni­cate twice through a phone con­ver­sa­tion -one in De­cem­ber to con­grat­u­late the then new­ly­elected US pres­i­dent, and the other in May when the two talked about the North Korea’s alarm­ing mis­sile tests.

But in a sep­a­rate press con­fer­ence, Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Harry Roque said the two fire­brand lead­ers would more likely have the chance to hold a bi­lat­eral di­a­logue dur­ing the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (Asean) sum­mit in Manila.

Af­ter his Viet­nam trip, Trump will stay in the Philip­pines on Novem­ber 12 to 14 to at­tend the 31st Asean Sum­mit and Re­lated Meet­ing that will be hosted by Duterte.

Roque be­lieved that while the two may hold bi­lat­eral meet­ing in Viet­nam, it would not be as “ex­ten­sive” as the talk on the side­lines of Asean con­fer­ence.

“They would have more op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with each other here in Manila, al­though I’m sure they would have bi­lat­eral talks in Viet­nam,” the pres­i­den­tial spokesman said.

‘Duterte to have bi­lat­eral meet with Xi, Putin in Viet­nam’

Mean­while, Lim said that apart from Trump, Duterte was also ex­pected to hold a sep­a­rate bi­lat­eral meet­ing with two other pow­er­ful lead­ers, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

XI and Putin were the two most-sought al­lies of Duterte.

In his speeches, Duterte has of­ten praised the two, whom he con­sid­ered as his “friends,” for ex­tend­ing as­sis­tance to the Philip­pines.

(Ruth Abbey Gita/SunS­tar Philip­pines)

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