MANILA — A top Vietnamese official has invited President Rodrigo R. Duterte to visit Vietnam again later this year or in 2020, Malacañang bared on Thursday.
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh extended the invitation to Duterte when he paid a courtesy call in Malacañan Palace on Wednesday.
“During their meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Minh thanked the President for extending him and his delegation a warm welcome,” the Palace statement read.
“He also conveyed the Vietnamese government’s invitation for President Duterte to visit Vietnam later this year or next year,” it added.
Minh, meanwhile, congratulated the President for the developments in the Philippines and the country’s pivotal role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Accompanying Minh were Vietnam’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ly Quoc Tuan; Director General of the Department of Southeast Asia -South Asia-South Pacific, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Tat Thanh; Director General of the Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu; and, Director General of the National Commission on Border Affairs, Maritime Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Manh Dong.
Duterte has visited Vietnam twice–in September 2016 on an official state visit and again in November 2017 during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
Prior to meeting Minh, Duterte also welcomed Kingdom of Bahrain’s First Deputy President of the Supreme Council for Youth Sports Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The Bahraini official was accompanied by Rashid Abdullah Wahab Al Shaikh, Salim Mohamed Ayedh Al Otaibi, and Mohamed Mahdi Alsalem Alyami.
Duterte vowed to provide the Bahrain government with assistance and thanked them for treating Filipino workers there humanely.
“If you remember, I said that we stand by you and we will be with you in case you need us. And again, let me reiterate our deep sense of camaraderie with our people. Also for the humane treatment given to our citizens. Thank you very much,” Duterte told Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Filipino officials present were Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., and Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Noel Servigon. (PNA) By Azer Parrocha