October 26, 2017
United States of America Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said there is no decision on who will represent US President Donald Trump in the coming East Asia Summit in Manila.
"I don't think a decision has been made but we do expect there will be senior members of the Cabinet with the President (Trump). My assumption is one of them," Kim told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) Thursday.
Kim said Trump's decision to skip the meeting is "purely for scheduling reasons" as the president is set to return to Washington on November 14.
"This is a long trip to the Philippines and for very important reasons, he needs to be back in Washington on the 14th. That's why he will not be able to participate in the East Asian Summit," Kim explained.
He said Trump will be engaged in very important meetings, including the United States- Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and his scheduled bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to the US envoy, both presidents will have a full discussion on important issues and concern for both countries and the region. The two president may discussed the threat being poised by North Korea, bilateral relations, economic partnership, structural culture and importation ties.
"The president is looking forward to visiting the Philippines as he recognized the important relationship we (US) have with the Philippines," Kim said.
"So I expect it will be a full discussion," he added.
Asked if there is a possibility for the two leaders to discuss the human rights issue in the Philippines, Kim said: "The two leaders will be open and frank with each other."
Kim clarified Trump's skipping the EAS does not indicate the weakening of US commitment with the Asia Pacific region. Ella Dionisio/DMS
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