MANILA, November 3, 2017 — The White House has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte and United States President Donald Trump will be having a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related meetings this month.
“On November 13, the President will celebrate the 40th anniversary of US-ASEAN relations at the US-ASEAN Summit and also participate in bilateral meetings with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and other leaders,” a senior administration official said in a background briefing in Washington.
A transcript sent by the US Embassy in Manila on Wednesday said Trump’s participation in ASEAN events will advance US leadership in promoting an Indo-Pacific trade and security architecture based on freedom, openness, and adherence to rule of law.
The same official said President Trump is “looking forward” to meeting President Duterte following their series of phone calls and exchange of letters, which created “warm rapport” between the two.
“President Duterte, he’s spoken with, they’ve had exchanges of letters. I think there’s a warm rapport there, and he’s very much looking forward to his first in-person meeting with President Duterte,” the official said.
“The amount of cooperation that’s taking place below the leader level and made possible by our longstanding relationship and alliance with the Philippines is still very robust,” the representative explained. “And that expands to areas like counterterror, all of the close people-to-people ties between the country, and human rights as well.”
“And so the President will have frank and friendly discussions in his first meeting with Mr. Duterte.” (Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/PNA)