21 world leaders, UN chief to attend ASEAN summit – Paynor

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)– A total of 21 heads of state and government, plus United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, will attend the ASEAN summit in November, the head of the summit organizing committee, said Tuesday, October 24.

Among those expected to attend are US President Donald Trump, Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr, said in a Palace news briefing.

Timor Leste, the last remaining Southeast Asian nation which is not yet a member of the regional bloc, will send a representative as a guest, he said.

There have been requests from at least "4 to 5" countries for bilateral meetings between their leaders and President Rodrigo Duterte, Paynor said, but the schedules would still have to be finalized because of Duterte's duties as ASEAN chair.

Dialogue partners, such as the US and China, are expected to seek to meet separately with the Philippine leader, he said.

Paynor also said that "there will be one bilateral visit" of one leader after the summit, but declined to give details.

VIP arrivals, departures in Clark

The main summit will be held in Manila, while preparatory meetings will be held in Clark Freeport in Pampanga, he said.

Clark International Airport will be used for the arrivals and departures of the high-level VIPs, Paynor said, so that air traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International AIrport in Manila won't be hampered.

Paynor said Duterte ordered ASEAN 2017 organizers to ensure that air traffic in the country's main gateway won't be disrupted. Organizers are also talking to airlines serving Clark on plans to work around the leaders' arrivals and departures to minimize disruptions.

Spouses of the leaders will also be hosted by Duterte's partner, Honeylet Avanceña, but the list of spouses attending has not been finalized. There will be a half-day program for them on the 13th, the organizing committee chief said.

The declaration of non-working days in Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Pampanga from November 13 to 15 was done to ensure that the movements of the visiting leaders and diplomats won't be hampered, Paynor said.

For 2017, a total of 282 meetings have been scheduled throughout the year, and so far, 243 have been completed, he said. – Rappler.com