Duterte seeks meeting with Turkey's Erdogan

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2017 10:41 AM | Updated as of May 14 2017 10:45 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. File/Composite

BEIJING, China - President Rodrigo Duterte is seeking a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of an economic forum here, the Filipino leader's top aide said Sunday.

Christopher "Bong " Go, Duterte's special assistant, said Philippine officials have asked for a meeting with Erdogan, but Turkey has yet to confirm if they can accommodate the request.

Duterte announced that he was set to meet with the Turkish President, in an earlier press conference in Hong Kong.

Duterte and Erdogan are set to attend the 2-day "Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation" in Beijing, where at least 28 leaders will discuss China's plan to establish railways and sea routes across Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Duterte arrived in Beijing on Saturday night for his second visit to the Chinese capital, this time accompanied by his partner Honeylet Avenceña.

The President was welcomed by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana.

Duterte came straight from a working visit in Hong Kong, where he met with members of the Filipino community. Before this, the President was in Cambodia for the ASEAN World Economic Forum.

The President did not give any statement when he arrived in Beijing.

Sta. Romana earlier said the President is expected to look for "areas of convergence" between his administration's 10-point socioeconomic agenda and China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The ambassador said the forum will be a chance for Duterte to see how the project can be used to promote sustainable economic development in the Philippines.

On Sunday evening, the President is set to attend a welcome dinner for world leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. He will also witness a Cultural Gala Performance at the Opera House at the National Center for Performing Arts.

Duterte on Monday will attend the forum's welcoming ceremony and join the Leaders' Roundtable to be chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He is also set to meet with leaders of China and Mongolia at the sidelines of the forum.

He will hold bilateral talks with with Mongolian Prime Minister Jargatulygn Erdenebat on Sunday afternoon, as well as separate expanded bilateral meetings with Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday.

Duterte and Xi will also have a restricted meeting with each other immediately after their expanded bilateral talks.

Duterte is expected to fly back to Davao City around 7:30 p.m. Monday.