Trump to visit PH in November

MANILA — US President Donald Trump is eager to visit Manila this November to further advance the alliance between the United States and the Philippines.

Trump affirmed his interest to work alongside President Duterte and attend the upcoming East Asia Summit in the country during their phone conversation last Saturday night. It was the US leader who initiated the phone call to Duterte at the sidelines of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.

“The ambit of the conversation between the two leaders includes the expression of commitment of US President Trump to the PH-US alliance and his interest in developing a warm, working relationship with President Duterte,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

“President Trump likewise mentioned that he looks forward to his visit to the Philippines in November for the East Asia Summit (EAS),” Abella added.

The Philippines is set to host in November the EAS, a regional leaders’ forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on issues and challenges facing the East Asia region. Aside from the 10-member ASEAN, the EAS membership includes Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United States and Russia.

Prior to his phone conversation with Trump, Duterte has urged the United States to exercise restraint and avoid going into war after North Korea’s latest missile test.

Duterte cautioned that one miscalculation would be a “catastrophe” with Asia becoming the “first victim” of a nuclear war. “Everybody is worried,” he said in a press conference at the end of the ASEAN summit last Saturday night.