Palace expects Obama's visit to be fruitful-A A +A
Sunday, September 29, 2013
MALACANANG sees fruitful meeting between President Benigno Aquino III and United States President Barack Obama, who will conduct his first ever visit to the Philippines next month.
Presidential Communication Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang, however, could not say if the framework agreement on the increased rotational presence of American troops in the country could be signed during Obama's visit here.
"Whether or not we will sign something during the Obama visit is not something I can answer at this point," he said in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
Asked if negotiations for the framework agreement on increased rotational presence of US forces were being rushed in time for Obama's trip in Manila, Carandang said, "I don’t think we can say that they are being rushed. These discussions have been going on for several months—if I’m not mistaken, over a year now... we are making slow but steady progress on the rotational presence."
"What I can assure our countrymen is that these discussions with the US will lead to enhanced security for the Philippines and that’s why we’re entering into these discussions," he added.
Carandang said that preparations are in full swing and underway for Obama's visit on October 11 to 12.
“We’re hoping that this visit will be very fruitful in strengthening our relations with the United States,” he said.
He said that aside from discussing bilateral agreements on defense and trade, other talks will also center on political and regional issues.
The Philippines is the last leg of Obama's trip in Southeast Asia, which will bring him also to Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia. (SDR/Sunnex)