Obama to visit PH, other Southeast Asian countries amid sea rows


04:04 PM September 14th, 2013

By: Julliane Love de Jesus, September 14th, 2013 04:04 PM

President Barack Obama. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—US President Barack Obama will visit Manila during his weeklong Southeast Asian trip next month to boost alliances at a time of growing territorial tensions in the region, Malacañang said Saturday.

Obama, during his state visit in the Philippines on October 11 to 12, will discuss with President Benigno Aquino “ways to further strengthen the enduring Philippines-US alliance, including the expansion of our security, economic, and people-to-people ties,” the Palace said in a statement.

“President Obama will meet with President Aquino to reaffirm the strong economic, people-to-people, and security links between the two countries,” it said.

The Manila visit will be Obama’s first in the Philippines—a key US trade and military ally—since he took office in 2009.

Aside from the Philippines, the American President will travel to Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia during the weeklong Southeast Asian tour from October 6 to 12 as part of his ongoing commitment to boost US political, economic and security engagement with the Asia Pacific, the White House said.

In Indonesia, the US leader will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders meeting—an annual forum of 21 Pacific Rim countries promoting free trade and economic integration.

He will then fly to Brunei for the US-Asean Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS) and to meet with Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah.

The next stop will be Malaysia, where Obama will highlight the United States’ growing bilateral ties with the Islamic state.

Originally posted at 2:51 p.m.

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