UNITED States Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Manila next week to speak with President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.
The American official will “discuss the full range of our cooperation with the new administration,” Deputy State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner said.
Kerry’s meeting with the President will take place a day after Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona). He will stay in the country from July 26 to 27.
Prior to his Manila visit, Kerry will participate in the Asean Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, the Asean-US Ministerial Meeting, and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting in Vientiane, Laos from July 25 to 26.
“At these Asean meetings, the Secretary will discuss the region’s security architecture and shared transnational challenges including maritime security, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea,” Toner said.
Counselor Kristie Kenney of the US State Department, a former US ambassador to the Philippines, was in the country last week to talk with key Duterte appointees and “start to work together,” she said in a recent interview.