MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday met United States President Donald Trump for the first time in person when they crossed paths on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vietnam.
A photo shared by Special Assistant to the President Bong Go showed Trump speaking with Duterte on the sidelines of the summit.
The chat between the two leaders came ahead of their expected bilateral meeting in Manila next week, when Trump visits for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and related meetings.
Prior to their meeting in Vietnam, the 2 presidents have shared at least 2 phone calls, the first when Duterte congratulated Trump for his victory in the US presidential polls last year.
In a press briefing following the APEC Summit, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the meeting of the 2 firebrand leaders was "short but warm and cordial."
"It shows that I think that the 2 leaders were genuinely pleased to have finally met each other in person," Roque told reporters.
Roque said "it is safe to assume" that the 2 leaders will discuss issues on the disputed South China Sea when they meet in Manila.
The two leaders have been compared by analysts for their supposed similarities, with Duterte being called the "Filipino Trump,” and Trump the “American Duterte.”