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Duterte seeks stronger ties

As he starts his foreign journey this week, President Duterte intends to seek stronger relations with Asia Pacific allies but would press for respect for sovereign equality.

The President laid down his agenda before departing for Cambodia to attend the World Economic Forum on Association of Southeast Asian Nations on May 11.

After the regional forum in Cambodia, Duterte will travel to Hong Kong for a meeting with the Filipino community and Beijing, China for his participation in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

“I am eager to engage my counterparts to establish stronger ties of amity with other countries in the Asia Pacific,” Duterte said in his departure statement.

“In my engagements, I shall observe and expect full respect for sovereign equality. Only by doing so will we be able to advance our national interests and collectively push with our partners’ efforts for sustained growth, security, and stability in the region,” he said.

In Phnom Penh, the President said he would advance the interests of ASEAN as well as highlight the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure blueprint when he participates in the WEF. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)