European Union formally invites Pres. Duterte to Brussels, Belgium

European Union formally invites Pres. Duterte to Brussels, Belgium

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is being invited to visit and attend the Asia-Europe Meeting in October.

It has been a rocky relationship between the European Union and the President, it started when the EU bloc criticized the Duterte administration regarding human rights concerns brought about by the extra-judicial killings that has hounded the Philippine government when the President started to implement his unrelenting war against illegal drugs.

The President has thrown a lot of expletives as against the EU in his public speeches and has not bowed down even when the EU bloc threaten to cut aid if the government violates basic human rights or "unlawful killings and other violations" in pursuit of its anti-drug war campaign. And the Philippines under the leadership of the president last May of 2017 ended the P13.8Billion European funding agreement with Philippines.    *
European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen (photo credit to owner)

The new year has began and the winds of change of 2018 seems to have ushered a possible new beginning for the Philippine-European Union relations.

Just this week the European Union has formally invited President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM12) in Brussels, Belgium in October, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines has confirmed the invitation.

During the press conference in Kapihan sa Manila Bay, the EU ambassador ,the head of the EU delegation of the Philippines, has confirmed that a formal invitation has been sent in Malacañan palace.

“They just sent the invitation to the President. We don’t have a reply yet,” Jessen said.

The ambassador has pointed out that the President has never been to Europe, and would welcome his presence for the opportunity to “develop an understanding of Europe.”

“He’s not been to Europe, and I think he’s actually never been to Europe, and when you think about the importance of the EU-Philippine relationship, it is probably starting to be noticeable that we haven’t had a visit from him,” Jessen said.

 “I would very much like him to go there and maybe also to develop his understanding of Europe and what we’re doing in Europe. We are not spending all our time criticizing the Philippines,” he added. *

Jessen believes that when Duterte goes to Europe and immerses in discussions, “he will come back with a more positive understanding” of the EU.

Asia-Europe Meeting or ASEM12 is an Asian- European political dialogue forum to enhance diplomatic relations and other various forms of cooperation among its dialogue partners. Its pretty like what we have in South East Asia-  that is the ASEAN.
Report from Philstar

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