DAVAO CITY – A government official said the Philippines can expect the participation of all 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in the leaders’ meeting even amid the terror attacks in Paris.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario, in a Philippine Information Agency dispatch, said she has not received any notice of cancellation of participation from the APEC leaders and representatives.
Del Rosario warned people against reading “too much” into why a particular leader cannot attend the summit.
She cited as example Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send his Vice President, Dmitry Medvedev, instead to the meetings. Medveded was Russia’s president in 2008 and 2012.
“So, in effect, that level is also something that I think deserves recognition that Russia is really… it finds APEC very important,” del Rosario, also the chair of APEC’s Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), said.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who chose to stay behind in Jakarta to address domestic issues, sent Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
A number of international forums are taking place this week until the end of the month. Among them were the G20 Meeting in Turkey, the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Manila, and the Asean Summit Meeting in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the SOM chair said she has not been informed by reports that an Islamic State faction based in Mindanao is planning attacks during the APEC week.
Del Rosario also refused to talk about the impact of the Paris attacks on the security preparations for the APEC leaders’ meeting. The attacks in Paris killed 128 people and injured more than 200. (davaotoday.com)