MANILA – United States President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte may finally meet in November this year, an official said Wednesday.
Ambassador Marciano Paynor, who is in charge of organizing the Philippines’ preparations for its hosting and chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, said Trump already confirmed to Duterte his attendance during their phone call.
"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, ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council Director-General for Operations, said in a news briefing.
In early December, Duterte phoned Trump to congratulate the latter on his election victory.
The leaders of 10 Southeast Asian nations and other countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and the United States, will attend the main ASEAN summit in November this year.
WIDODO, BOLKIAH BILATERAL MEETINGS
On April 29, ASEAN leaders will also attend the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Paynor said prior to the April 29 summit, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will hold bilateral meetings with Duterte on April 27 and 28, respectively.
After the ASEAN meeting, Duterte and Widodo will fly to Davao to witness the launch of the Davao-Gensan-Bitung Roro route on April 30.
According to Paynor, Widodo’s visit will be in reciprocation to the state visit of Duterte to Indonesia last September.
Paynor said, Duterte and Widodo will most likely talk about the progress in the issues they discussed during their September meeting, such as the security in the two neighbors’ sea lanes.
The official added that other ASEAN countries requested a meeting with Duterte, but the tight schedule is preventing the proposed meetings from taking place.