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Marcos, Biden may have a White House meeting in 2023 —Amb. Romualdez

Marcos, Biden may have a White House meeting in 2023 —Amb. Romualdez

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., may have a meeting with United States President Joe Biden at the White House next year, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said Wednesday.

In a television interview, the envoy said he is “very confident” that the courtesy call of Marcos on Biden will happen in 2023. He added that discussions were already being conducted on the matter.

“The White House has told us that [they] would like very much President Marcos to come. But as always, the schedule of both leaders is very important,” Romualdez said in an interview on ANC.

“But definitely, the White House, President Biden himself, would like to have a good meeting with the President at the White House at some point in time,” he added.

Romualdez said that the schedule of the meeting of the two leaders has yet to be determined.

He bared the plan following the three-day visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris in the Philippines. Harris paid separate courtesy calls both on Marcos and her Philippine counterpart, Sara Duterte.

Harris then affirmed her country’s support for the Philippines in the security sector, including the invoking of the mutual defense treaty between the two countries, should attacks be made against Philippine forces in the South China Sea.

“It only shows how important right now the Philippines is for the United States,” Romualdez said.

“All of these just simply tells us that the United States is now seriously behind us as far as our dispute with China is concerned in the West Philippines Sea. This is very important for our relationship as far as mutual defense is all about.”

ASEAN spokesperson?

Further, Romualdez said he believes that Marcos would be spokesperson of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), citing his articulacy in engaging with global leaders.

“I think President Marcos would probably be…maybe I’m being presumptuous…but would probably be a great spokesperson of the ASEAN leaders in the future,” he said.

“I think we will see our Philippine President playing a major role in the ASEAN community,” he added.

On November 14, Marcos arrived from Cambodia after participating at the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits.

At the sidelines of the Summits, held in Phnom Penh from November 10 to 13, Marcos held bilateral talks with other heads of states to strengthen relations and cooperation with other countries.

According to Marcos, ASEAN solidarity and centrality must be strengthened to address conflicts and challenges in the region, including natural disasters, health emergencies, armed conflicts, and economic recessions. —KG, GMA Integrated News