- US President Donald Trump “verbally” confirms attendance to the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings in the Philippines this November
- This was confirmed by no-less than Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr, Director-General for Operations of the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council
- The ambassador says he expects a “hundred percent” attendance of ASEAN leaders and their dialogue partners
In a press conference, Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr, Director-General for Operations of the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council, said US President Donald Trump “verbally” confirmed his attendance to the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings in the Philippines in November.
“As of now, President Trump, for instance, when President Duterte called him up to congratulate him, had already indicated that he is coming in November. At least verbally, he said he is coming,” Paynor was quoted as saying in an article written by Pia Ranada which was published on Rappler.
As such, Paynor noted that if the US president does not attend the Belt and Road Summit in China in May, the ASEAN Summit in November will be the first time that he will meet the Philippine leader.
As earlier announced, Duterte is scheduled to participate in the China summit while Trump will not be among the Western leaders who have confirmed attendance to the upcoming mid-May event.
Describing Trump as a ‘deep thinker’ and someone he has a ‘good rapport, ‘Duterte called the former in December 2016 to congratulate him on his victory in the US presidential elections. Apparently, the two leaders hit it off especially after the US leader extended well-wishes on his much-criticized war on drugs.
Although Paynor expects a “hundred percent” attendance of ASEAN leaders and their dialogue partners to the November summit, he noted that there might only be “one or two” leaders who may not be able to come because of internal issues.
Aside from the leaders of the nine other ASEAN member states, leaders of the US, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and other dialogue partners of the regional grouping are expected to grace the event.