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PRRD hasn’t taken US invite yet

Malacañang said yesterday that President Duterte has not yet accepted US President Donald Trump’s invitation to visit the United States.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte has not said “yes” to Trump’s invitation but likes to accept the gesture. “Let us just say, he (is inclined) to appreciate the gesture. His response remains to be seen,” Abella said.

Trump invited Duterte to visit the White House during a friendly phone conversation Saturday night, following the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Manila.

In their conversation, Malacañang revealed that the two leaders talked about advancing the improving alliance between the US and the Philippines.

“President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to participate in the East Asia Summit and the US-ASEAN summit,” the Office of the US Press Secretary said.

“The ambit of the conversation between the two leaders includes the expression of commitment of US President Trump to the PH-US alliance and his interest in developing a warm, working relationship with President Duterte,” Abella said.

Both Malacañang and the White House, however, did not say when Trump and Duterte would meet in Washington D.C.

Trump invited Duterte to travel to America and visit the White House to discuss the current situation in the Korean Peninsula, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The DFA said Trump apparently wants to consult US allies and strategic partners in Asia on how to approach the tensions generated by North Korea’s threatening actions.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Rob Bolivar said there is still no specific date set for Duterte’s US trip.

“There will still be discussions about the arrangements through diplomatic channels but most likely it will happen in the next few months because the topic to be discussed is urgent,” said Bolivar.

He said usually, the arrangements for any presidential trip is led by the DFA and finalized through diplomatic channels. (Argyll Geducos and Roy Mabasa)

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