Malacanang has confirmed that President Vladimir Putin called President Benigno Aquino III last Thursday night to discuss the Russian leader’s inability to attend the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting slated Nov. 17 to 20 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
”President Putin discussed with President Aquino the reasons for his inability to attend the APEC Summit to which President Aquino replied that he understood fully well the issues that are confronting the Russian government,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a media briefing on Friday.
”He (President Aquino) also understands the need of President Putin to stay in his country to ensure that the reasons behind some of their domestic issues are fully investigated and threshed out,” she added.
Valte was referring to the ongoing investigation of the Russian plane that crashed last October 31 in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, killing all the 224 people on board.
Valte said the two leaders also discussed matters related to the Philippines and Russia bilateral cooperation.
”The Russian delegation will be headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev,” Valte said.
The Malacanang Palace also expressed regret that Indonesia President Joko Widodo will not also be able to attend the APEC Summit.
”We are awaiting formal confirmation from our friends in the Indonesian government on their representative to be sent to the summit next week,” Valte said.
”It is quite regretful that President Joko Widodo will be most likely be unable to attend the summit. We understand that the pressing matters back home require his immediate attention,” she added.
Except for Putin and Widodo, all the leaders of the 21-nation APEC have confirmed their attendance in the next week’s APEC Summit.
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