PGMA to meet Bush, Badawi on the sidelines of APEC leaders' meeting in Sydney
SYDNEY (6 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is scheduled to hold separate talks with United States President George W. Bush and Malaysian Prime Minister Datu Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) here on Sept. 8-9.
President Arroyo, who left Manila for Sydney this morning, is scheduled to meet with Bush at Intercontinental Sydney Hotel on Friday immediately after a lunch hosted by Bush for the seven heads of state from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) attending the 15th APEC Leaders's meeting.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Edsel Custodio said on Wednesday he has no definite knowledge of the two leaders' talking points.
"Leaders when they meet, there is no agenda…you could probably guess …it's an open thing," he said.
Last year, also at the APEC meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, Bush and President Arroyo also held one-on-one talks and discussed the global fight against terrorism and the peace process in Mindanao.
Custodio said one could only surmise that these topics would also dominate the two leaders' meeting on Friday.
On the other hand, President Arroyo and Badawi are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting on Saturday, probably to discuss the scheduled resumption of the postponed peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Malaysia is brokering the peace negotiations.
The President is also scheduled to meet on Friday with the delegates to the Global Filipino Network Conference; Dr. Stan Shih, Chairman Emeritus of the Acer Group; Chip Goodyear, Chief Executive Officer of BHP Biliton and the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce and the US APEC Business Council.
On Saturday, the President would join the 20 other APEC leaders for the 15th AELM where they would discuss common concerns that include the stalled World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, energy sustainability, climate change, security and terrorism.
The informal discussions among the 21 leaders of member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum would be a "retreat style" at the Sydney Opera House.
At the culmination of the two-day leaders' meeting, the 21 leaders are expected to issue an APEC 2007 Declaration at the Government House here. (OPS) [top]