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Top US diplomat Kerry to visit PH, call on Duterte

/ 03:03 PM July 20, 2016
Albania US

US Secretary of State John Kerry. AP FILE PHOTO

US Department of State secretary John Kerry will visit the Philippines from July 26 to 27 as part of his Southeast Asian swing to call on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. to discuss a wide range of cooperation with the new administration.

Expected in the discussions is the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea following the arbitration award that favored the Philippines’ sovereign rights over strategic waters in South China Sea and junked China’s nine-dash-line claim.

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READ: Duterte won’t trade PH’s territorial rights to China—US senator

The US official will attend Asean high level meetings in Vientienne, Laos from July 25 to 26 where he is expected to raise issues on sea disputes in South China Sea and denuclearization issues of the Korean Peninsula.

“At these Asean meetings the Secretary will discuss the region’s security architecture and shared transnational challenges including maritime security, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and the South China Sea,” said a statement of the US Department of State on Wednesday.

Secretary Kerry is attending the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) in Laos where Asean members and key regional powers Australia, EU, China and Japan gather to discuss security challenges in the region including rising tensions in South China Sea.

READ: US patrols could backfire, says China

Also in Laos, secretary Kerry will also attend East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, the Asean-US Ministerial Meeting and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting.

Prior to the Asean trip, secretary Kerry will travel to Vienna, Austria on July 22 to join EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and the US Delegation in Vienna for the first day of high-level talks at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.

Kerry will also travel to Paris meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss ongoing efforts to advance a two state solution. CDG

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TAGS: ASEAN, John Kerry, Perfecto Yasay Jr., Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, South China Sea, US, US Secretary of State
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