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Trump's attendance in November Asean meet likely

Trump's attendance in November Asean meet likely

The outcome of the informal summit between United States President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was good for Asean - as it exceeded Asean leaders' expectations.

"President Trump, for instance, when President Duterte called him up to congratulate him, had already indicated that he was coming in November", Paynor said in a press conference in Malaca├▒ang.

"Multilateral meetings of this sort, we usually expect 100% attendance. At least verbally, he said he is coming", according to Rappler.

The visit of the two leaders coincides with the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings to be held from April 26 to 29.

"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.

"All these happenings on the 28th which will also coincide with the visit, state visit, or bilateral visit of Indonesian President Widodo".

After the ASEAN meeting, Duterte and Widodo will fly to Davao to witness the launch of the Davao-Gensan-Bitung Roro route on April 30.

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The Philippines will host the ASEAN meetings with dialogue partners in November.

Paynor said there had been requests from other Asean leaders to have bilateral discussions with the President but stressed that the latter's schedule is "so tight".

2017 is a full year for ASEAN and its current annual host, founding member-nation the Philippines.

Indonesia was Duterte's first foreign trip back in September.

"On 29th April which is the actual summit, we will have all 10 [ASEAN] leaders meeting up at the PICC and we'll have a retreat at the Coconut Palace", he added.

He said the Trump administration would work with ASEAN on security issues and trade and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

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


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