Hectic 2 days for Duterte in meeting in Singapore
SINGAPORE — President Rodrigo Duterte will join other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Friday and Saturday for their 32nd summit, which will be hosted by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The President is expected to arrive here on Thursday night from Davao City.
It will be a hectic two days of meetings for the President, with Friday seeing him first holding bilateral meetings, including a “pull-aside meeting” with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Lee will host a dinner for the Asean leaders at 6 p.m. on Friday and a plenary session that diplomats earlier said was a “working dinner.”
Singapore, this year’s chair of Asean, has chosen “Resilient and Innovative Asean” for the summit’s theme.
“[A] focus for this year will be on ways to make use of innovation and technology to improve the lives of our people,” Assistant Foreign Secretary Helen Vega said at last week’s briefing on President Duterte’s attendance in the summit.
Vega said the President “would address issues that are close to his heart, especially matters that affect the well-being of the peoples of our region.”
She said discussions at the working dinner would include plans for putting up a network of smart cities to be participated in by 26 cities that focus on sustainable urban development.
Coordination of the members’ cybersecurity policies will also be discussed, she said.
On Saturday morning, the President will join the other Asean leaders for the summit’s opening ceremony at the Shangri-la Hotel.
The leaders will then go on a retreat for discussion of issues common to the 10 Asean nations.
Vega said the summit also would tackle the South China Sea dispute, transnational and transboundary issues, such as terrorism, violent extremism, human trafficking, illegal drugs and disaster management.
After the Asean leaders’ retreat, Lee will host a lunch for the leaders.
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