Duterte ‘falls ill,’ skips Apec gala dinner for world leaders
LIMA, Peru — President Duterte skipped the gala dinner for leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) here on Saturday evening (Sunday morning in Manila) as he was not feeling well, Philippine officials said.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar told reporters Mr. Duterte was ill and opted to have Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay attend on his behalf the dinner hosted by Peru President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
Practically all the world leaders, with the exception of those who had sent representatives due to troubles at home, like South Korea and Thailand, were in attendance at the dinner, including Presidents Barack Obama of the United States, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Xi Jinping of China.
Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau of Canada and Shinzo Abe of Japan were also present.
The Apec leaders toasted each other with champagne and watched cultural presentations.
The traditional dinner is typically seen as an opportunity for Apec leaders to hold informal talks with each other in the absence of time for formal bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the main Apec summit.
Andanar said Kuczynski had been told beforehand that Mr. Duterte would not be able to make it to the dinner.
The two leaders had a prolonged conversation earlier in the day during the official welcome ceremony for the arriving heads of state just before the formal opening of the annual trade gathering of Pacific Rim economies.
In the morning, Mr. Duterte had bilateral discussions with China’s Xi and Russia’s Putin. CBB
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