Philippines President Duterte to skip US-ASEAN summit

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has refused the invitation of US President Joe Biden to attend the summit between the US and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next month.

In a taped meeting with some members of the Cabinet aired on Wednesday, Duterte said he received an invitation to attend an ASEAN “dialogue” with Biden, but there would be a newly elected Philippine president and the next administration may not like any “agreement” or “commitment” to be discussed in the meeting, Xinhua news agency reported.

“It’s not good to go there knowing we already have a new president,” Duterte said.

On May 9, Filipinos will elect a new president to succeed Duterte, whose six-year term ends in June. Duterte was elected president in 2016. The Philippine constitution permits the president to serve a single six-year term.

The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs has not issued an official statement on who will attend the summit. Duterte never visited the US during his term in office.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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