MANILA, July 8 (Mabuhay) — Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez is hoping President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his counterpart President Joe Biden could set up a separate bilateral meeting in Washington D.C. before November 2022.

The envoy said Marcos is expected to go to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022 but talks with the American leader on the sidelines are not yet in the works.

“Yong bilateral, we have not yet gotten there kasi ako, personally (As for the bilateral, we have not yet gotten there because for me, personally), I would like to see President Marcos go to Washington D.C. for a meeting with President Biden and hopefully we can do that sometime before the end of the year, before November kung puwede (if possible),” he said in an interview in Makati.

The envoy said the possible meeting would depend on the schedule of both leaders, but “the invitation is open-ended.”

It would also depend on the US if they want to make it a state visit, he added.

‘UNGA attendance’

Romualdez, meanwhile, said Marcos’ attendance at the UNGA would be significant as this would be his first trip to the west as the 17th Philippine president.

“[Si] President Marcos will be coming in for the General Assembly which starts sometime around September 20-21, around that time,” he said, adding that he would of course deliver a speech “if he goes.”

“A lot of people are very interested to hear that, to see him, to meet him. Even before the elections, I told him that I hope that one of the first trips that he will have to the western world would be to the UN. And I think that he sees that as a valuable reason for being at the United Nations that he will speak at the UN. A lot of heads of state up there for sure,” he said. (MNS)

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