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Agreements Expected To Be Signed During Duterte’s Thailand Visit
President Rodrigo Duterte (RENE LUMAWAG/Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN) President Rodrigo Duterte (RENE LUMAWAG/Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
March 17th, 2017 | 09:03 AM | 1232 views
President Duterte is expected to sign several agreements with Thai officials when he visits the Kingdom next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
In a pre-departure briefing in Malacañang yesterday, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said the agreements expected to be signed will be in the areas of agriculture, science and technology, energy, and education.
The President who will be in Thailand from March 20 to 22 is also expected to hold bilateral talks with Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and discuss economic, infrastructure, and development cooperation.
“They are expected to discuss issues of mutual concern, including political, economic, agriculture, energy, education, and defense cooperation,” Jose said.
The President first visited Thailand in November last year to pay his respects following the death of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Jose, however, said there is no scheduled meeting between Duterte and the new Thai King Vajiralongkorn.
But before going to Thailand, Duterte will first visit Myanmar on March 19 and 20 upon the invitation of the President of Myanmar, U Htin Kyaw who, like Duterte assumed office in 2016.
In Myanmar, President U Htin Kyaw will hold bilateral talks with President Duterte and host a banquet in his honor.
Duterte is also scheduled to meet other high-level government officials in Myanmar, including State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
There are no agreements expected to be signed during Duterte’s Myanmar visit.
According to Jose, Duterte’s visit to Myanmar and Thailand are part of the President’s introductory visit to the last two countries in South East Asia he has yet to make an official visit.
In Thailand, Duterte is expected to brief Thai officials on the priorities and programs of the Philippines for its chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year.
“The visits to Myanmar and Thailand demonstrate our leaders’ resolve to forge stronger relations with our neighbors and cooperate closely with them in various areas of endeavor,” he said.
The Philippines and Thailand have a long standing diplomatic relations which were formally established in 1949. Diplomatic relations with Myanmar, meanwhile started in 1956.
As his previous foreign trips, Duterte is expected to meet with the members of the Filipino community in Myanmar and Thailand.
There are approximately 1,800 Filipinos in Myanmar employed in foreign firms and international organizations.
In Thailand, Duterte will meet with the more than 16,000 Filipinos living and working in the Kingdom.
“During these occasions, the President makes it a point to apprise our countrymen about his administration’s priority programs and developments in the Philippines,” Jose said.
The DFA also confirmed yesterday, the arrival of Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who will call on President Duterte in Davao City this week. Bishop earlier met with DFA acting secretary Enrique Manalo.
Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald reported that Bishop’s visit is part of Australia’s campaign for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“I think they will be discussing issues of mutual concern, both bilateral and regional, focusing primarily on political cooperation and economic cooperation,” Jose added. (With a report from Roy C. Mabasa)
courtesy of MANILA BULLETIN
by Argyll Cyrus Geducos
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