MANILA - Malacañang on Saturday welcomed United States President Donald Trump's announcement that he would extend his stay in the Philippines later this month to attend the East Asia Summit.
Speaking to state-run radio, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said President Rodrigo Duterte looks forward to engaging Trump in a "productive dialogue" during the latter's visit.
"...[T]he Palace welcomes the announcement of the White House that President Donald Trump would extend his stay in the Philippines to attend the East Asia Summit," Andanar said.
"The President looks forward to engaging President Trump in the productive dialogue at the ASEAN-US Commemorative Summit and the EAS." he added.
It would be Trump's first visit to the Philippines as President.
Trump on Friday said he decided at the last minute to extend his stay in Asia, after drawing criticism as he was expected to miss an important regional summit.
"We're actually staying an extra day in the Philippines," Trump said.
Trump will be in Manila from Nov. 12 to 14 for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asia Summit.
The US leader was originally expected to stay only until Nov. 13 and skip the East Asia Summit, a key meeting that gathers 10 ASEAN member states and dialogue partners the US, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea.
The summit has served as an important platform for talks on key political, security and economic issues.
"The Philippines, as host, Chair of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings, is set to welcome all foreign leaders and delegates and to ensure that they would experience Filipino hospitality at its finest," Andanar said.