By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte is set to meet United States President Donald Trump for the first time in Manila next month.
Malacañang confirmed Saturday that Trump (normally referred to as POTUS, which stands for President of the U.S.) will be visiting the Philippines for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) East Asian Summit (EAS) in Manila in November.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a statement, said Trump’s visit will signify the improving relationship between the two long-time allied countries.
“President Trump’s visit underscores the improving PH-US ties and President Duterte is looking forward to welcoming the US President in Manila,” Abella said Saturday.
Trump will join other world leaders who will attend the ASEAN/EAS in Manila.
Other members of the EAS are the 10 ASEAN member-states, and the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and New Zealand.
According to Abella, the Philippines is hoping to host a productive event and make it pleasant to the foreign leaders.
“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 said.
The world leaders are expected to conduct talks on regional issues, notably the threat of North Korea’s nuclear missiles.
Duterte was previously invited by Trump to the White House but the President had to turn down the invitation to focus on the ongoing war in Marawi City.
Trump’s visit to the Philippines is part of the POTUS’s five-nation swing through Asia from November 3 to 15, according to the White House.
Aside from the Philippines, Trump is set to visit China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam to discuss the nuclear threat of North Korea.
Duterte, being the chairman of the ASEAN, earlier expressed concern about the situation in the Korean Peninsula, saying that the ASEAN countries, particularly the Philippines, would be the first ones to be affected.
“I’m just worried as you really. We’re on the edge. Everybody is worried,” Duterte had said.
“If one miscalculation of a missile, whether or not a nuclear warhead or just an ordinary dumb bomb, one explosion there that would hit somebody would cause a catastrophe,” he added.
“It would really mean the first victim would be Asia and the southeast, the whole of the ASEAN countries and the rest because those are really nuclear warheads that (could) mean the end of the world,” he continued.
Following a phone call with the POTUS, Duterte also had explained that he will not tell Trump what to do but he would urge him to show restraint and to not start a war with North Korea.
He also expressed that the only chance that the US and the North Korea would be able to have a dialogue is through the intercession of China.