Another Marcos, Biden meeting eyed in April – envoy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may soon meet again with his US counterpart Joe Biden should their schedules permit, according to Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez.

In an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines on Wednesday, Romualdez said preparations are underway for a possible meeting between the two leaders, tentatively set for April.

"Clearly, we need to have President Marcos come to Washington, DC. He is okay to have a meeting again with President Biden and these meetings have already been discussed extensively and I hope it will happen also around that timeframe," Romualdez said.

The Philippine envoy noted that this is different from Marcos' attendance at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in November.

He said it remains to be seen if the meeting will be part of an official or state visit.

"Pres. Marcos is not choosy when it comes to the invitation. The most important is the substance of the meeting," Romualdez stressed.

He said the possible meeting may cover a number of topics —  from the economy to security.

"Food security, the US is very cognizant of that as one of the priorities of the Marcos administration. There will also be economic activity discussions between the two countries. It all boils down to our relationship with the United States so in terms of cultural, defense, security and economic issues," he added.

Marcos and Biden first met in September last year on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

2+2 Ministerial Meetings in Washington, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in PH next month

Apart from the possible meeting between Marcos and Biden, top foreign and defense officials are also set to meet in Washington in April.

"This is very important again as far as our relationship with the United States. To be able to talk about issues not necessarily the West Philippine Sea but our overall global situation that we're facing," Romualdez said.

Romualdez also confirmed that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in the Philippines in the first week of February.

"President Marcos agreed to meet with him. They will discuss our defense treaty concerns," the envoy added.