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Palace confirms Trump’s visit to PH for Asean summit in November

United States President Donald Trump will visit Manila for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Nov. 12 and the ASEAN-US summit the following day, but will skip the East Asia Summit (EAS) on Nov. 14.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the confirmation of Trump’s visit to the country “underscores the improving Philippines-US ties.” Abella said President Rodrigo Duterte, who is yet to meet Trump, was looking forward to welcoming the US President in Manila. “We confirm US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Philippines this November,” Abella said in a statement. “President Trump will join other world leaders who will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or East Asian Summit in the Philippines,” he added.

The Philippines is this year’s chair of the Asean. The 31st Asean Summit and Related Summits will be held together with Asean dialogue partners Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korean and the United States. Duterte, who serves as chair of the 10-region bloc, has been critical of the US after Trump’s predecessor, former US president Barack Obama, questioned his war on illegal drugs.

He, however, has sought to repair ties with US after Trump assumed the presidency. Abella said the Duterte administration would make sure that foreign guests would enjoy “world-famous Filipino hospitality” during their stay in the Philippines for their attendance to the 31st Asean summits.

“As host country, we hope to make the event productive and pleasant to our foreign guests,” the presidential spokesperson said. “We will let them experience our world-famous Filipino hospitality to make sure they would have good memories of their stay in the Philippines,” he added.

R. Abbey Gita/ SunStar Philippines