Duterte ‘definitely’ visiting US but no date yet: envoy

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Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s trip to Washington D.C. is certain, but due to the issue of scheduling, no definite date has yet been set.

“So far, there’s no definite date but I know that he’s going. So there’s no definite date but he definitely will go to the United States,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 243rd US Independence Day celebration in Makati City.

“He indicated that he would like to go, but it’s just a question of timing. There’s a lot of things going on now, we have the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), we have the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), so we’re going to see (when). And of course it’s election in the US, that’s why,” he said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo himself relayed hopes for the two leaders’ meeting last year.

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the President would only visit the US once the Balangiga Bells are back in Philippine soil.

In 2018, the bells were successfully transported back to the Philippines.

Duterte and Trump met in Manila on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in November 2017 but the invitation was made by the US President during a phone call after the regional affair.

Trump, who was elected in 2016, is running for re-election in the 2020 US presidential polls. PNA