MANILA – The President of the United States left Tuesday afternoon for Washington, a few hours ahead of the conclusion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila.
Donald Trump’s plane took off at 3:18 pm from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, ending his fourth international trip, and his first to Asia, during which he also stopped over in Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam.
Trump skipped the plenary session of the East Asia summit reportedly over scheduling conflicts but delivered his prepared speech at a lunch with the other leaders.
During the ASEAN summit, Trump and his counterparts had condemned North Korea’s nuclear program and pledged to fight against terror group Islamic State, active in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.
The discussions also covered trade issues and Trump promised to reduce his country’s trade deficit with East Asia and the Pacific region.
During his visit to the Philippines, Trump also held his first bilateral meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in which both asserted their commitment to upholding the right to life and dignity, despite an ongoing anti-drug war in the Philippines under Duterte’s watch that has been globally condemned for its rights abuses and that has killed more than 7,000 in almost a year and a half.