MANILA (Mabuhay) — President Benigno Aquino III will have two working trips abroad this month, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday, but he will not have any bilateral talks with China, with which the country has an ongoing territorial dispute.
The trips are for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week in Bali, Indonesia, and the 23rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Brunei Darussalam, according to DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez.
Hernandez said Aquino will participate in nine summits during the 23rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on Oct. 9 and 10:
the 23rd ASEAN Summit;
the 16th ASEAN-Japan Summit;
the 16th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit;
the 16th ASEAN-China Summit; and,
the 1st ASEAN-US Summit;
the 16th ASEAN Plus Three Summit;
the 8th East Asia Summit;
the 11th ASEAN-India Summit; and,
the 5th ASEAN-UN Summit.
Hernandez said Aquino will be at the 23rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits to express support for the micro, small and medium enterprises and facilitating free flow of goods and the adherence to the rule of law and maritime security and cooperation, among other topics.
Hernandez, however, declined to categorically state if Aquino will be participating in any bilateral talks, saying the schedule has yet to be finalized. He also said there are no plans for the Philippines to have a bilateral meeting with China.
“There might be one or two bilaterals in the ASEAN, but details are still being finalized. There will be no bilateral with China,” the DFA official said.
Before the ASEAN event, Aquino will be in Bali on Oct. 7 to 8 for the APEC Leaders’ Week. Prior to his attendance to the APEC conference, he will attend the APEC CEO Summit on Oct. 6.
“As a panelist on the session on inclusive growth together with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand and President Ollanta Humala of Peru, the President will be sharing Philippine strategies, initiatives and accomplishments on this particular area,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez also said that on the last day of the APEC Leaders’ Week, Aquino will be the Lead Discussant on “People-to-People Connectivity.”
“[Aquino] will call for the need to intensify cooperation in cross-border education and skills training as a fundamental step in aligning human resource development with economic growth and resiliency,” he said.
Leaders are expected to adopt the 21st APEC Leaders’ Declaration at the end of the APEC Leader’s summit, Hernandez added. (MNS)