President Donald Trump finally got a date in his calendar for a face-to-face with the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during his November tour which is intended in part to press allied nations to clamp down on Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program in North Korea.
“The President’s travel will underscore his commitment to long-standing United States alliances and partnerships, and reaffirm United States leadership in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
The two Presidents are scheduled to meet on November 14, at the end of Trump’s trip while Duterte is hosting the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Back in May, Duterte rejected Trump’s unexpected invitation to the White House, saying “I am tied up”, and went to suggest he had better places to be which is the Russia.
Meanwhile, the Philippines and US have maintained a close political and military alliance for over 60 years. However, under Duterte’s administration, the country has grown closer to Russia and China, where both recently donated thousands of assault rifles to support his battle against rebels linked to Islamic State.