Trump to attend ASEAN, APEC Summits this year

United States President Donald Trump has reportedly indicated that he would come to the Philippines for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in November, a diplomat said on Wednesday, April 19. "Many delegates will come", said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Robespierre Bolivar in a press briefing.

In early December, Duterte phoned Trump to congratulate the latter on his election victory.

Duterte had a hard relationship with Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, as the former U.S. president criticized a series of killings tied to the Philippines leader's Drug War, prompting Duterte to tell Obama to "go to hell", calling him a "son of a whore", - for which he later apologized - and threatening that he might "break up with America".

Marciano Paynor, ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council director-general for Operations, said Bolkiah will pay a state visit to the Philippines on April 27 and Widodo will make a state visit to the Philippines on April 28.

For his part, Duterte, however, said he was not sure whether Trump would visit the Philippines.

Robespierre Bolivar told a news conference that Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo will go to the United States in early May to attend the meeting between the ASEAN FMs and the USA state secretary.

This vote of confidence was indeed warmly welcomed by ASEAN officials, as the White House had finally given "very positive indications" about USA interests in the region, outgoing Indonesian permanent representative to ASEAN Rahmat Pramono said.

Paynor said that with "Multilateral meetings of this sort, you usually expect 100% attendance".

The US is one of the dialogue partners of ASEAN along with China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Australia and South Korea.

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.

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.

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