Duterte, Trump to meet in Vietnam

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Duterte, Trump to meet in Vietnam

The Philippine President is scheduled to fly to Vietnam on Wednesday for the global gathering which started on November 6.

At a palace briefing in Malacañang on Monday, Department of Foreign Affairs assistant secretary Leo Herrera-Lim said both Duterte and Trump would first meet during the welcome dinner for APEC leaders on November 8.

The DFA official said it is possible for Duterte and Trump to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the APEC.

Aside from the most likely opportunities when the two heads of state are most likely to meet, from the welcome dinner on November 8 to the gala dinner and the meeting between APEC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which the Philippines now chairs, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Leo Herrera-Lim said a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit is also possible.

He said the two leaders were likely to discuss security threats and the economy during their meeting.

According to Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Committee on APEC 2017 Phạm Bình Minh, APEC activities this year should create a new impetus to promote growth and increase regional economic integration to new heights, along with reiterating that the forum is for people and businesses.

“In a forum or in a platform that you have 21 economic leaders, one, the chances of a not a scheduled bilateral but even a pull aside, a meeting would be — would not be easily discounted ‘no”, Lim said.

“And then number two, the desire to grow the different engines of global economy ‘no”.

Duterte and Trump had the chance to communicate twice through a phone conversation – one in December to congratulate the then newly-elected U.S. president, and the other in May when the two talked about the North Korea’s alarming missile tests. Trump praised Duterte for his government’s anti-drug crackdown and invited him to visit the United States. So I think, most likely, they (Duterte and Trump) will [meet]. He previously told Obama to go to hell and threatened to cut defense pact and end military drills with the US.

But in a separate press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the two firebrand leaders would more likely have the chance to hold a bilateral dialogue during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Manila.

Duterte is also expected to meet ASEAN businessmen in Vietnam.

He added the Philippines’ priorities in the APEC meetings would include pushing for the full participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the global economy, sustainable and inclusive growth, connectivity, and human resource development.

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