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MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is set to fly for another state visit in 2023 – this time to France, according to the European nation’s ambassador to the Philippines.
Michele Boccoz told Philippine media that Marcos had accepted the invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron.
A state visit is the highest type of visit a head of state can undertake. It only happens upon invitation of the host country and involves more pomp and pageantry as compared to other forms of visits, such as working or official visits.
State visits also mean it’s the host country that will shoulder most, if not all of the cost of the visit.
According to state-run Philippine News Agency, the visit is set to take place by the first half of the year, although other details have yet to be ironed out.
Boccoz said priority areas of engagement for the two countries include food security, energy, maritime security, climate change, biodiversity, and people-to-people ties.
Marcos and Macron formally met the first time on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bangkok, Thailand back in November 2022.
This trip would be Marcos’ third state visit in 2023 to date, and his fifth overall. His first state visits were to Indonesia and Singapore in September 2022, then to China in January 2023. He is set to have a state visit Japan in February 2023.
Marcos, who assumed the presidency last June 30, 2022, has been criticized for his frequent trips abroad.
Between his state visits, he has also travelled overseas on working or official visits to the United States, Cambodia, Thailand, Belgium, and Switzerland.
Between his trip to the US and Cambodia, Marcos also went on a Singapore sojourn to watch Formula 1 Grand Prix. That trip was unannounced and was confirmed only by the Palace after various media reports and posts on social media.
Following his five-day visit to Davos in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, Marcos told a media panel: “‘Yung mga biyahe medyo babawasan na namin for the rest of the year (We’ll lessen the amount of trips for the rest of the year).”
In November 2022, after participating in the APEC Summit, Marcos told traveling media that they had accepted “all” state visit invites, but that it was a matter of scheduling.
Aside from the February 2023 Japan state visit and the upcoming state visit to France, Marcos is set to return to the US for the APEC Summit in November 2023. – Rappler.com