Duterte upheld PH interests in Asean, Apec summits–Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte upheld the country’s interests when he took part in last week’s 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Summits, and the 26th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Meeting.
Malacañang gave this assurance as the President returned to Davao City on Sunday evening after his consecutive trips to Singapore and Papua New Guinea.
During the summit, the President stressed the importance of Asean community-building, according to presidential spokes-person Salvador Panelo.
“He emphasized the need to sustain Asean efforts toward building a resilient and innovative region while underscoring the need for developing relations with dialogue partners based on mutual respect for sovereignty,” Panelo said in a statement.
Noting the Philippines’ role as the country coordinator of the Asean-China dialogue, Panelo said the President renewed the commitment of the regional bloc and China to the “full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.”
The President emphasized the need to maintain and promote peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the disputed sea, Panelo said.
The President, he said, also reaffirmed the importance of positive engagements between the regional bloc and its dialogue partners, including India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.
The President attended the Asean summit with Japan, China and Russia but skipped several events on the second day to take “power naps.”
After the Singapore summit, the President proceeded to Papua New Guinea to take part in the Apec meeting in Port Moresby.
At the Apec Business Advisory Council, Panelo said the President discussed the need to trade freely and fairly to spur economic activities, technology transfer and capacity building.
Panelo said the President also championed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the Economic Leaders’ Meetings, calling MSMEs “the backbone of many economies.”
The President also met with the Filipino community in Port Moresby, thanking them for their contributions to nation building and urging them “to continue being the best representatives” of the country.
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