PRESIDENT Donald Trump has invited President Rodrigo Duterte to come to the US for a “special” meeting with other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“This will provide an excellent opportunity for us to broaden and deepen our cooperation on matters of great importance to the nearly one billion people in the United States and ASEAN nations that we have the privilege to represent,” Trump said in a November 1 letter to ASEAN leaders which was released only on Sunday by Malacañang.
The meeting, Trump said, will happen “at a time of mutual convenience in the first quarter of 2020.”
Trump has skipped ASEAN summits for two years in a row, with most Southeast Asian leaders snubbing the scheduled US-ASEAN meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. Trump sent National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien in his stead.
It is not clear whether Duterte has accepted the invitation for him to come to the US. Trump has repeatedly invited Duterte to Washington, but the Philippine President has yet to make that visit.