P-NOY HAD HIS ONE-ON-ONE W/ OBAMA FOR 7 MINUTES IN NEW YORK
[PHOTO AT LEFT - President Aquino tries a computer game during a tour of the Hewlett Packard Executive Briefing Center in Cupertino, California. HP has committed to expand operations in the Philippines. Inset shows US President Barack Obama with President Aquino during their meeting that lasted for about seven minutes.]
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 (STAR) By Aurea Calica
SAN JOSE, California – President Aquino got his one-on-one meeting with United States President Barack Obama in New York City on Friday, after all.
President Aquino said here Saturday that the brief talk took place after the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Leaders’ Meeting where he managed to seek Washington’s help in cleaning up a military ammunition dump off Corregidor island in Bataan.
The President, who arrived here early Saturday morning, said he was honored to have been given the opportunity to speak to Obama despite the US president’s hectic schedule.
Mr. Aquino’s staff said he was escorted discreetly to a room after the US-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting where his bilateral talk with Obama was set. The meeting lasted for about seven minutes, he said.
“He acceded to our request (to meet) even for just a short while so we could start discussions (on issues). He promised to give time for longer bilateral talks in the future,” Mr. Aquino said.
Mr. Aquino said Obama promised to look into his request about the ammunition dump.
The President said it would be quite difficult to clear the area safely because it contained US government’s materiel since World War II.
He said the structures were also very old and deteriorated and the ordnance must be disposed of properly.
“You don’t want all of it exploding at the same time... We need money to remove them carefully,” the President said.
The President said he was no longer expecting the one-on-one meeting to take place with Obama’s busy schedule and was surprised when he was told that Obama agreed to it.
The President said he no longer pushed for a longer meeting because he knew Obama had to deal with a lot of things such as the upcoming US election and the many meetings he had to attend to in New York.
Aside from the US-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting, Obama also spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, where Mr. Aquino also had his debut on world stage as he delivered a speech calling for global people power against poverty and other pressing problems of the world.
“We did not want to abuse his hospitality and I think our dialogue (Friday) was good. Let me leave it at that first because we were no longer expecting it because of his hectic schedule but still he gave us a chance and it appears I was the only one who was (entertained),” Mr. Aquino said.
Mr. Aquino said they did not formally talk about his possible visit to Washington although Obama gave assurance that they would have more extensive bilateral meetings.
“But the dates have not yet been set because his focus of course is their elections in November and the economy,” Mr. Aquino said.
Mr. Aquino is here for two days to meet with business leaders and the Filipino community.
The President attended the UN General Assembly in New York as well as the US-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting and had bilateral talks and meetings with business leaders and the Filipino community.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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