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Duterte meets US envoy in ‘private’

 

By ARGYLL GEDUCOS

 

PRESIDENT Duterte meets US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (seated right) during a courtesy call in Malacañang. (Presidential photo)

PRESIDENT Duterte meets US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (seated right) during a courtesy call in Malacañang. (Presidential photo)

MALACAÑANG said yesterday that the “private” meeting between President Duterte and Ambassador Sung Kim in Malacañang Wednes­day would improve ties between Philippines and the United States.

“Well, we’ve always had a good relationship with the United States. And I’m sure that every meeting between the President and the US Ambassador will result in closer re­lations,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“No details was released. As you know, this is a diplomatic meeting. So it was classified as a private meeting. But I will try to ask the President what we can release,” he added.

In his Twitter account, Kim laud­ed the courtesy call on Duterte and described his meeting as “ex­cellent.”

“Excellent meeting with Presi­dent Duterte to discuss shared goals, including defense priorities and economic partnership,” Kim said. “Our alliance remains strong and ironclad,” he added.

Roque said there is no reason to doubt what the US envoy said in his Twitter account.

“Perhaps, there’s no reason to doubt the Twitter account of the US Ambassador. But as I said, it was classified as a private meet­ing,” he said.

Duterte’s meeting with the US Ambassador came almost three weeks after he revealed that three top US officials have expressed desire to meet him to discuss the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

However, Duterte said that he will only acquire arms or any military hardware from the United States if the act is done in good­will.

The President also said that he wants US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and Secretary of De­fense James Mattis to come to the Philippines if they really want to meet him.

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