Published: Tue, October 03, 2017
Medical | By Rita Mcdonald

Trump walks back on threat to skip Asean summit in Manila

Trump walks back on threat to skip Asean summit in Manila

The US president will be accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump.

Joined by his wife Melania, Trump will travel November 3-14.

During the Asia tour, Trump would not be stopping over in "good friend" India which the White House has categorised as falling into the Pacific region.

The meeting between Trump and Asian leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in NY last week helped persuade him to attend in unity with key allies, as per the US official.

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"The President will participate in a series of bilateral, multilateral, and cultural engagements - including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit - demonstrating his continued commitment to the alliances and partnerships of the United States in the region", the White House said in a statement.

"President Trump's visit underscores the improving [Philippines-US] ties, and President Duterte is looking forward to welcoming the US President in Manila".

The president, who has been locked in an increasingly bitter war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will have the opportunity to bolster allied resolve for what he calls the "complete denuclearization" of Pyongyang.

The world leaders are expected to conduct talks on regional issues, notably the threat of North Korea's nuclear missiles. "He hosted the leaders of Japan and South Korea at the United Nations and spoke by phone with the leader of China earlier this month even as he ordered a sweeping new set of sanctions meant to cut North Korea off from the worldwide banking system", the White House said.

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Duterte was previously invited by Trump to the White House but the President had to turn down the invitation to focus on the ongoing war in Marawi City. Kim has blasted Trump as "mentally deranged".

"President Trump's visit underscores the improving relations between the Philippines and the United States, which no less than Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told me is on an upward vector", he added, saying Tillerson also described relations between the Philippines and the U.S. to be strong and irreversible in his interview by National Public Radio in Washington last Thursday.

He also expressed that the only chance that the USA and the North Korea would be able to have a dialogue is through the intercession of China.

"I applaud China for breaking off all banking relationships with North Korea - something that people would have thought unthinkable even two months ago".

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The United States also considers Chinese entities behind the theft of intellectual property and cyber attacks and wants to find ways to address these concerns, the official said. "Now, aside from these episodes of, I said, sad incidents, overall, I think the Americans also redeemed themselves a lot", the President added.

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