President Benigno S. Aquino III and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to talk with each other during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting next week but no formal bilateral talks have been set yet.
Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., in a briefing Thursday, explained that it has been the practice in the previous APEC Leaders Summit that current, previous and future hosts sit together in troika.
He said the usual seating arrangement calls for the President of the host country to sit in the middle while leaders of the previous and future APEC Meetings are seated on his sides.
“Normally they are seated together so the opportunity for the President and President Xi Jinping will always be there if they wish to talk about issues that are bilateral in nature,” he said.
Meanwhile, Paynor, who is also the APEC 2015 National Organizing Council Director General, said President Aquino is set to have 11 bilateral meetings next week.
He said discussions for other bilateral talks until next week are still a work in progress given the very tight schedule of the 21 APEC country-members’ Presidents.
He said more than half of the 21 leaders will come from Antalya, Turkey after the G20 Summit on November 14-16 to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM) in Manila on November 18-19.
Some of these leaders will also immediately fly-out to attend the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, set from November 18-22.
“So whatever free time they have in between will be arranged and most of these will be arranged at the last minute,” he said.
Paynor said the bilateral talks between President Aquino and the leaders of 11 other countries will be held in Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City while bilateral talks with other countries will be held either in the hotel they will be staying in or in Solaire Resort & Casino in Paranaque City.
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