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Biden invites Duterte to U.S., Asean summit next month

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THE US State Department has extended the invitation for President Duterte to attend the “special” US-Asean Summit in Washington DC next month.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the preparation for the Special US-Asean Summit has been discussed during the meeting between Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and the US Undersecretary of State for political affairs Victoria Nuland.

The two met at the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) Ministerial Meetings in Liverpool, United Kingdom over the weekend.

The DFA did not elaborate on the specifics of the meeting.

A few weeks ago, news reports from Hanoi quoted sources saying the US is proposing for the summit to be an “in-person” meeting among the heads of states of Asean and President Joe Biden sometime in the third week of January 2022.

The proposed US-Asean Summit will propel the pivot of the US foreign policy back Asia under the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” which will start next year

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is in Liverpool, UK this week to promote the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework with his counterparts in Asean during the G7 meeting. This is the first time Asean ministers were invited to the G7 meetings.

Biden is also scheduled to fly to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand later this week.

Locsin, meanwhile, congratulated the US for hosting of the Democracy Summit.

Duterte has not yet visited the US since he became President. In his previous pronouncements, Duterte openly ranted about US imperialism and threatened to abandon its treaty alliance with the US. However, recently, relations have improved, with President Duterte reviving the Visiting Forces Agreement and participating during the virtual Democracy Summit hosted by Biden.

Locsin also thanked the US for the 20-million donated doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen vaccines that the Philippines received from the United States, so far, through the Covax Facility.

“Secretary Locsin also sought the United States’ continued support for the PH as it administers booster shots for its population, as well as in the Philippines’ efforts to build its capacity for local vaccine development, manufacturing and distribution,” the DFA said in a statement.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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