Aquino to attend ASEAN Summit and visit Vietnam in October

September 23, 2010 10:26 am 

MANILA, Sept. 22 — President Benigno S. Aquino III will go to Hanoi on Oct. 28 to 30 to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit.

But prior to his attendance at the ASEAN Summit, the Chief Executive will first make a state visit to Vietnam upon the personal invitation of Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said, in an interview in New York, that the President was originally scheduled to visit Vietnam last September 13 to 14 but the hostage crisis took place at the Quirino Grandstand last August 23, which forced the President to stay and attend to domestic problems.

According to Romulo, when he informed President Triet of the postponement, the latter understood completely. “President Triet thanked President Aquino for congratulating Vietnam on the celebration of their 65th anniversary.”

Romulo said the two leaders talked about the ASEAN-US meeting that will take place this Friday (Sept. 24) and President Aquino, as the coordinator, just talked about their full agenda including the communiqué, which has been arranged by the senior officials.

He reported to the Vietnamese leader that President Aquino is looking forward to his visit to Hanoi in order to “deepen the relationship already existing between the two countries.”

The Vietnamese president also expressed his confidence in the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Vietnam.

President Aquino said he expects to sign in Hanoi the agreements on higher education, defense, maritime issues and disaster coordination, including oil spill and natural calamities, Romulo added. (PNA) LOR/PCOO/ssc

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