ASEAN, U.S. foreign ministers meeting may take place in May: Philippine officials
MANILA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The meeting between the Southeast Asian foreign ministers and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may take place in Washington D.C. or in any ASEAN country in May this year, sources at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo told a news conference that the foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have sought a meeting with Tillerson hoping to get a clearer policy from the Trump administration on the ASEAN region and Asia in general.
"We are hoping to have a meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and (Tillerson), but the exact dates have not yet been pinned down and it could be soon or in the near future," Manalo said.
"There is a plan to meet, but scheduling is the problem," he added.
The sources said Malaysia, the coordinator for ASEAN-U.S. relations, has sent a request for Tillerson.
Moreover, sources said ASEAN ministers would also want a commitment from the U.S. that President Donald Trump will attend the East Asia Summit and ASEAN-U.S. summits scheduled in the Philippines in November.
The Philippines is this year's chair of ASEAN meetings, including the ASEAN summit this April and the summit of ASEAN plus its dialogue partners in November.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.