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Marcos confirms he will visit Vietnam upon invitation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc

BANGKOK, Thailand — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. confirmed he is set to visit Vietnam, following the invitation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

In a conversation with Marcos, Phuc in his local language described the two countries as “strategic partners” which may have “many issues to discuss.”

“I cannot say no. I will in principle accept your very kind invitation. We will just stay in contact so that we can decide on the date,” Marcos said in response.

“I will ask our foreign secretary to stay in touch with his counterpart, and also your staff in the Vietnamese Embassy,” he added.

Marcos earlier accepted Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's invitation for a state visit to Vietnam, the Office of the Press Secretary said last week. Both leaders attended the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.

Marcos arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday evening, accompanied by First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos, where he is set to have at least six bilateral meetings including one with Saudi Arabia and with France on Friday.

The President already met with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping on Thursday afternoon, which he said was more of getting to know each other where they talked a bit about regional issues.

In the meeting, Xi was reported to have said that the two parties should stick to “friendly consultations” when dealing with issues involving the South China Sea.