Philippines goes ahead with ASEAN meet after foiling attack

Toby Manning
Апреля 21, 2017

And the United States is seen to play a keener role in ASEAN, going by Malacañang's remarks on Wednesday about US President Donald J. Trump's attendance in the November meetings.

"As of now, President Trump, for instance, when President Duterte called him up to congratulate him, had already indicated that he was coming in November".

"We usually expect 100 percent attendance", Paynor told reporters, when sought for confirmation on Trump's attendance on Asean summit later this year.

Paynor said Widodo and Sultan Bolkiah's bilateral meetings with Duterte will likely build on discussions they had with him back when he visited their countries. The day's meetings will be culminated by a gala dinner hosted by President Rodrigo Duterte, chair of the 30th ASEAN Summit. On April 26-29, leaders of ASEAN member countries are set to attend the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Manila.

According to Paynor, Widodo's visit will be in reciprocation to the state visit of Duterte to Indonesia last September.

Paynor said the President is expected to have at least two bilateral meetings on the sidelines.

The Asean meeting will push through the central Philippine island recently rocked by a foiled attack of the extremist Abu Sayyaf group.

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.

The DFA official said Philippine trade is also expected to improve, as ASEAN members discuss various issues including trade, as well as people-to-people exchanges, cultural exchanges, educational cooperation and security cooperation.

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

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