United States President Donald Trump has decided to extend his Asia trip for one more day to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) in the Philippines.
“We’re actually staying an extra day in the Philippines,” Trump announced prior to his departure on Friday, November 3.
White House officials have confirmed that Trump will spend an extra day in the Philippines to attend the regional on Tuesday, November 14 after being criticized for initially deciding to skip the annual event.
“I think we’re going to have great success,” Trump added.
Trump’s original plan was to attend the special gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the ASEAN-U.S. meeting in Manila from November 12 to 13 as part of his Asia trip, which also includes visits to Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam.
Trump is slated to have a bilateral meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the ASEAN conference.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano previously disclosed that security and trade relations, as well as threats posed by terrorism and illegal drugs, are among the top issues to be discussed at the upcoming bilateral meeting between the two leaders.
Earlier this week, Duterte said he will welcome the U.S. president “in the most righteous way.”
“I would deal with President Trump in the most righteous way, welcome him as an important leader,” Duterte said in a media briefing on Sunday, October 29.
“I would have to also listen to him, what he has to say. I have not met him personally but I have noticed that we move our mouths in the same cadence,” the Philippine president added.
Duterte has been known for his profanity-laced remarks against the U.S. for supposedly interfering with the domestic affairs of the Philippines. He has repeatedly launched tirades against officials, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, who expressed concern over the alleged human rights abuses allegedly associated with Duterte’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
However, during a phone call with Duterte in May, Trump hailed the Philippine president for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem” despite local and international human rights groups condemning on the campaign.
Duterte — who previously bashed the U.S., especially during the term of former President Barack Obama — said he’s now adopting a friendlier stance with the Trump administration.