Key issues up in Duterte, Pompeo talks

February 26, 2019

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will discuss key regional issues in his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Malacañang on Thursday.

Pompeo will be in Manila from February 28 to March 1, said State Department spokesman Robert Palladino.

Asked about the agenda of their meeting, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte and Pompeo would be talking about “mutually beneficial” issues between Manila and Washington.

“Any subject matter that is mutually beneficial to both countries will be discussed or any matter for the Secretary to raise,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

The two leaders, Panelo said, would be discussing “mutual concerns” like security and terrorism, among others.

Pompeo’s visit to the Philippines comes as Duterte continues to develop warm ties with China despite Beijing’s aggression in disputed maritime territories in the South China Sea.

Panelo said the matter would be discussed if Pompeo raises it.

“If the Secretary of State would raise it, then it would be discussed,” he said.

The Palace official said the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States would also be tackled.