Palace clarifies remark that Biden met only with Marcos on UNGA sidelines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) — Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles on Friday apologized and clarified her earlier remark that President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was the only head of state who spoke with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

In a statement, Angeles acknowledged that Biden held meetings with other leaders -- but explained that these were rescheduled discussions.

"Ang ibang mga meeting ni Pangulong Biden ay mga dati nang napagkasunduan, pero na postpone at itinuloy na lamang sa pagkakataon na ito," she told reporters.

"Tanging ang request na makipagpulong ni Pangulong [Marcos] [a]ng napaunlakan sa sidelines," she stressed. "Ipagpaunmanhin nawa ang kaunting kalituhan sa naunang statement."

[Translation: The other meetings of President Biden were already agreed upon beforehand, but were postponed and rescheduled at this time. Only the meeting request of President Marcos was granted on the sidelines (of the UNGA). We apologize for the confusion of the earlier statement.]

The official website of the White House showed Biden met with a handful of leaders after they addressed the UNGA earlier this week.

He met with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Liz Truss, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sept. 21, and Marcos on Sept. 22, all US time.