Two strongmen meet: Trump and Duterte

US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will meet this week on the APEC Summit to be held in Da Nang, Vietnam. AP/Alex Brandon, Bullit Marquez

PhilStar Global

November, 6, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will meet US President Donald Trump ahead of the ASEAN Summit, as the firebrand leader flies to Vietnam for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation on November 8.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Leo Herrera-Lim in a briefing on Monday said that while bilateral meetings between the two leaders have yet to be confirmed, there are “several opportunities” for Trump and Duterte to meet.

Both known for their firebrand language, Lim acknowledged that the first face-to-face meeting between Trump and Duterte is highly anticipated.

READ: Trump to hold bilateral meeting with Duterte in Manila

Lim said that the two countries have “convergence” on “national security, both at the country level and at the regional level” and “the desire to grow the different engines of global economy.”

The said agenda might prompt the US to “seek out our president” for a meeting on the sidelines at the APEC.

“Because, you could imagine I think amongst the Presidents elected in 2016, it’s our president that continues to get attraction in the international fora,” Lim added.

Duterte may also meet Xi, Putin

Twenty-one global leaders are expected to attend the summit in Vietnam. Among them are Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia President Vladimir Putin

Both Xi and Putin, both referred to by Duterte as his “friends,” might miss the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines.

Lim, however, noted that priority would be given to leaders who would not attend the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines next week.

Asked if he was referring to Xi and Putin, Lim said: “Not exactly priority, but that would factor in the request.”

The APEC meet ends on November 11. The ASEAN Summit, hosted by the Philippines, will start on the next day, November 12.

Trump is expected to stay in the country from November 12-14.

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