PH sees Apec summit success despite absence of Putin, Widodo
While it expressed regret at the absence of two leaders of member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) –Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indonesian President Joko Widodo– at the summit in Manila next week, the Philippines is confident that their representatives can participate with full powers.
In a news briefing on Friday, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, said the Russian delegation in Manila will be headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Jose said the Russian leader has called President Aquino to discuss matters of the Philippines and Russia bilateral relations and the participation of Russia in the Apec summit in Manila on November 18 and 19.
“President Putin explained to President Aquino the reasons why he will be unable to come to Manila,” Jose said.
He said, however, he was not privy to the conversation between the two presidents.
In the case of Indonesia, the Philippines has yet to receive an official information on who Jakarta will be sending as representative to attend the summit in lieu of Indonesian President Joko Widodo who on Thursday backed out from attending the Apec summit.
“Although we regret that President Joko Widodo would most likely be not able to attend the summit, the Philippine understands that pressing matters back home require his immediate attention,” Jose said.
Jose noted that the participation of the two leaders’ representatives can still boost the Philippines’ initiatives as the host of the Apec summit.
“We are confident that their participation will contribute to economic cooperation among member economies under the ambit of APEC,” he said.
Asked if there are limits in the responsibilities of the deputies of the leaders, Jose said: “As long as they have been sent by their leaders, I think they will be able to participate with full powers,” Jose said.
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