"Tell Rodrigo I like him very much. He's a good guy" - Trump

The 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit was indeed very successful, wherein US President Donald Trump hailed his “great relationship” with the President Rodrigo Duterte, that made the ralationship of the United States and the Philippines back on track again.
“I think it’s a very successful trip and the Philippines and the US relations are back on track,” US Ambassador Jose Romualdez said.
Before leaving the Philippines, where he will fly back to Washington on Monday to officialy start his tour of duty, US President Donald Trump made sure that President Rodrigo Duterte would receive his message of appreciation.

“Tell Rodrigo I like him very much. He’s a good guy. I had a great time here.” Trump said at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The send-off party of US President Trump was led  by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea,along with Romualdez and US Ambassador Sung.

“I told (Trump to) have a safe trip. I’ll see you in Washington,” US Ambassador Romualdez said

“We look forward to it.” Trump answered.

Within his two-day stay in the Philippines for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings, Trump was billeted at Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City and took the Marine One helicopter to NAIA.

Before Air Force One took off from the NAIA’s Balagbag ramp at 3:26 p.m, Trump attended the East Asia Summit (EAS), chaired and hosted by Duterte, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) where he delivered his speech, however, did not stay to join the traditional “family photo” with fellow EAS leaders.

‘Performance of the Night’

Sunday, at the SMX Convention Center during dinner, the “Asia’s Queen of Songs” Pilita Corrales had a duet with Duterte and sang “Ikaw”, as requested by the President Trump.

“Tremendous talent. Musical talent, dance talent, and we really had a tremendous time, all of the leaders,” Trump said.

But of all the performances of the greatest filipino artists, what impressed Trump and caught his attention was the performance of Duterte according to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, having told him by Trump. Dureza had the chance to talk to Trump, though it was brief, upon passing by and shook hands with him after the gala dinner.

“I told him: you should practice singing, too, so you could do a duet together next time,” Dureza said.

“Great idea. I’ll do that.” Trump replied.


Trump said he made “many good friends” Over his two-day stay in the country, following his post on Twitter yesterday about his plan to forging “fair trade deals” with ASEAN countries and dialogue partners.

“Just arrived at #ASEAN50 in the Philippines for my final stop with world leaders. Will lead to fair trade deals unlike the horror shows (refers to the Trans-Pacific Partnership that former US President Barack Obama had pushed for in the region) from past administrations,” he wrote.

The illegal drugs, free trade and aid for the rehabilitation of Marawi City were discussed by Trump and Duterte in their bilateral meeting, while the issue on Human Rights was briefly talked about, according to Romualdez.

“#MAGA (Making America Great Again)

Trump’s successful five-country trip in the region was about Making America Great Again (MAGA) like bringing back jobs in US, wherein all the countries that US dealt know that the “rules have changed.”

“Will be leaving the Philippines (on Tuesday) after many days of constant meetings and work in order to #MAGA (Make America Great Again)! My promises are rapidly being fulfilled,” Trump tweeted.

“After my tour of Asia, all countries dealing with us on trade know that the rules have changed. The United States has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion. The massive trade deficits must go down quickly!” he added.

The bilateral meeting between the two presidents In the joint statement issued by the Philippines and the US after the bilateral meeting of Trump and President Duterte,

The two presidents agreed to deepen the economic relationship of the long-time allies during their bilateral meeting, which was issued in the joint statement the two released.

“The two leaders pledged to nurture economic ties, including private sector cooperation, to create jobs and opportunities for people in both countries. To this end, both sides will explore strengthening dialogues for innovation and sharing of best practices in technology to optimize the position of the Philippines as a preferred destination for American investments in the Asia-Pacific region,” the joint statement read.

As of now, full details of the deals made by Trump during his Asian trip have yet to be released.


Source:  philstar.com

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