Donald Trump will attend a series of key summits in Asia in November, his vice president said today, adding it was a sign of America's "unwavering commitment" to the region.
"When President Duterte called him up to congratulate him [Trump], had already indicated that he was coming in November. At least verbally, he said he is coming", Paynor said, as quoted by Rappler.
The ASEAN foreign ministers requested the meeting with Tillerson to engage with the new US administration early, said Patrick Murphy, the USA deputy assistant secretary of state for Southeast Asia.
During a telephone call in December 2016, Trump reportedly invited Duterte to visit the White House this year.
Duterte had a hard relationship with Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, as the former United States 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".
According to Paynor, of the 17 ministerial meetings, only eight have been finished out so they still have nine more meetings which need suppliers.
Leaders from New Zealand, South Korea, the US, Japan, Australia, China are expected at the meeting, along with representatives from ASEAN's 9 other member states.
Duterte, who took office last June, has been hypersensitive to criticisms over his anti-drug fight, which has left thousands of drug users and pushers dead in the span of a few months, alarming the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S. and human rights watchdogs. In response, Duterte made several profanity-laced outbursts against Obama, his country's long-standing ally.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella said Mr. Duterte's South Korea trip is "not yet confirmed".
The former Davao city mayor has also stated his intention to foster better ties with China and Russian Federation, revamping the Philippine's foreign policy that has always been pro-Washington.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose blunt rhetoric has sometimes earned comparisons with Trump, said Wednesday that the president is "a realist and pragmatic thinker".
In a meeting with the Filipino community in Qatar on Saturday, Duterte also described Trump as a "pragmatic" thinker.
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