Marcos to have at least two bilateral meetings in ASEAN summits
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is scheduled to have at least two bilateral meetings as he will join the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from November 10-13.
After the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia, Marcos is set to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting on November 18-19 in Bangkok, Thailand.
A Palace official said is Marcos will leave for Cambodia on November 9.
"There will be more than two bilateral meetings being scheduled between the president and his counterpart leader," Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Nathaniel Imperial said in a briefing on Friday afternoon.
"As you know, many world leaders and regional leaders will be present during the ASEAN meetings so it's a great opportunity for our President to meet bilaterally with his counterparts," he said.
Imperial said the DFA is still "finalizing the bilateral meetings that will be conducted by the President" but he confirmed that the first bilateral meeting "will be with the host government, with Cambodia."
"The President was scheduled to meet with the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen as a matter of courtesy. It would be their first meeting, and the first meeting as the new President of the Philippines," he said.
Imperial said a bilateral meeting between Marcos and the Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is also expected during the sidelines of the summits.
"We also expect a bilateral meeting between the President and the Korean President. As you know, the Republic of Korea is a key partner of the Philippines, economically, in terms of defense and security, and also in terms of tourism and we have a multi-faceted relationship with the Republic of Korea," he said.
"So it's very important that they discuss current and pending issues between our two countries and the opportunities we can pursue together with the Republic of Korea," he added.
Imperial said among topics that would probably be discussed by Marcos and Yoon is the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the two countries .
"Korea is only the second country with which we will be concluding a free trade agreement after Japan. Aside from that, we have a very robust defense and security cooperation as you well know," he said.
During the same briefing Office of the Press Secretary Undersecretary and officer-in-charge Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said Marcos would also meet with the Filipino community in Cambodia.
She said Marcos is expected to "update them on the programs and policies of his administration, especially on the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of OFWs."
Garafil said the ASEAN Summit is the highest policy-making body in ASEAN, comprising the heads of state or government of ASEAN member states.
She noted that the summit which is held twice a year serves as a venue for discussion and policy deliberations on various developments and global issues affecting the Southeast Asian region and beyond.
Garafil said the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Plus Three Summit, and the ASEAN Leaders' Meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General which will be held concurrently would review the existing and new areas of cooperation and exchange views on regional and international issues between ASEAN and its dialog partners, including Australia, Canada, China, India, the Republic of Korea and the USA. Robina Asido/DMS