Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Trump 'Verbally' Confirmed He'll Be at ASEAN Summit in Philippines

Trump 'Verbally' Confirmed He'll Be at ASEAN Summit in Philippines

Bolivar said they expected all nine other ASEAN leaders to be in attendance at the meetings to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center on April 29.

On Wednesday Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr, the summit's director-general for operations, told reporters, "As of now, President Trump, for instance, when President Duterte called him up to congratulate him, had already indicated that he is coming in November".

"Multilateral meetings of this sort, we usually expect 100% attendance".

"So at least verbally he said he was coming".

Mr. Paynor in his briefing said ASEAN leaders have requested for bilateral talks with Mr. Duterte during the meetings in Manila next week, but because of his "tight" schedule, Mr. Duterte can only accommodate "informal" talks.

"The other seven [ASEAN leaders] will perhaps have what we call a 'pull-aside.' You know, when there is a break, they go and then discuss whatever matters they may wish to bring up with President Duterte", Mr. Paynor said.

The DFA will host the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings from April 26 to 29.

The Indonesian president is expected to attend the launch of the Davao-General Santos-Bitung roll-on, roll-off route in Davao City on April 30.

As this year's chair of ASEAN, the Philippines is host to 137 ASEAN meetings spread out during the entire year.

"(Bohol) might as well be considered a well-fortified and (the) most secure place in the country right now", said DILG officer in charge Catalino Cuy, chair of the security committee of the Asean National Organizing Committee.

On April 28, there would be Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Senior Officials' Preparatory meeting for the 10th IMT-GT summit; Prosperity for All Summit; Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting; 15th Asean Political-Security Community Council Meeting; and 19th Asean Coordinating Council Meeting.

But, ASEAN experts like Ibrahim Almuttaqi of the Jakarta-based Habibie Center remained cautious about the prospect of a more engaged U.S. government.

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