April 21, 2017 9:27 am JST

Trump to visit Philippines, Vietnam in November

JAKARTA/WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- U.S. President Donald Trump will make a visit to the Philippines and Vietnam in November to attend regional summits, Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday.

Trump will take part in a summit with ASEAN leaders and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines as well as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

In Washington, a U.S. State Department official said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with the foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the U.S. capital on May 4.

The ASEAN foreign ministers requested the meeting with Tillerson to engage with the new U.S. administration early, said Patrick Murphy, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Southeast Asia.

Tillerson will also travel to the Philippines for a series of regional foreign ministerial talks in August, Murphy said, adding the May meeting "will be a very important opportunity to discuss the challenges, the opportunities, and our cooperation in the region again before the more formal meetings that take place in August in the Philippines."

During the summits in November, leaders are expected to discuss such issues as responding to North Korea's weapons development and China's assertiveness in the South China Sea, along with U.S. trade policy on Asia.

Pence is visiting Indonesia as part of his swing through the Asia-Pacific region, which took him to South Korea and Japan, and will take him to Australia.

ASEAN groups together Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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