• Yasay irons out Duterte Russia visit

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    Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. has firmed up a substantive agenda for a significant meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had invited his Philippine counterpart to visit Moscow.

    Yasay on Monday met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in the Russian capital.

    The two foreign ministers discussed the current state of bilateral relations and the prospects to enhance cooperation on a broad range of areas, spanning the political, security, economic, cultural and people-to-people spheres, according to a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

    The statement said Yasay and Lavrov agreed to redouble efforts to conclude a number of agreements that would
    form part of the legal framework on which to build relations.

    They also agreed that their respective ministries would undertake preparations for the visit of Duterte next year.

    During the official lunch tendered by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the DFA disclosed that there were discussions on regional and global issues including the priorities of the Philippine chairmanship of Asean in 2017, regional security architecture and United Nations issues.

    This was the first visit to Russia of Yasay, which happened on the heels of a meeting between Duterte and Putin at the sidelines of the recently concluded APEC Summit in Lima, Peru.

    In the joint news conference held after the bilateral meeting, Yasay said the engagement was part of continuing efforts to strengthen Philippine-Russian bilateral partnership.

    “I am pleased and honored to be in Moscow and to be part of this new stage in our relations,” he was quoted as saying.

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