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PM Lee, Philippine President Duterte hold first bilateral meeting

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 13:42

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reaffirmed the "long and close" bilateral ties in their first such bilateral meeting since the latter took office in late June this year.

SINGAPORE Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reaffirmed the "long and close" bilateral ties in their first such bilateral meeting since the latter took office in late June this year.

At the meeting, Mr Lee extended an invitation to Mr Duterte to visit Singapore.

The meeting took place on Tuesday morning before the Asean summits in the Laotian capital Vientiane.

Both leaders reaffirmed the long and close ties between the two countries and looked forward to the celebrations of the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations in 2019, said a Singaporean official. Mr Lee also congratulated Mr Duterte on his election.

The opening of the 28th and 29th Asean summits and related summits is scheduled to take place later on Tuesday afternoon.

The meetings, to take place in Vientiane from Tuesday to Thursday, will see leaders of the 10 Asean countries meet with their regional counterparts.

This will be Mr Duterte's first major international debut, whose remarks have often courted debate and controversy.

Earlier before meeting with Mr Lee, the Philippine President expressed regret at comments made a day before about US President Barack Obama. The comments have led to Mr Obama calling off a scheduled bilateral meeting with Mr Duterte in Vientiane.

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