By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
Malacañang on Wednesday, July 25, announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte is set to visit Israel in September this year.
In a text message to Palace reporters, Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” T. Go said, “There will still be a joint official announcement on the dates in September.”
In another text message, Mr. Go said that in October, the President may also visit Kuwait.
October pa Kuwait depende sa availability ng Emir,” he said.
(The President’s visit to Kuwait will be in October, depending on the availability of the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.)
The Times of Israel reported last Tuesday that “an Israeli official” has confirmed “the Philippines’ controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte, is due in Israel in early September.”
The Israeli news site also quoted the Yedioth Ahronoth, a national daily newspaper, as saying that Mr. Duterte “will sign agreements about Philippine nationals who provide long-term care in the Jewish state and combating drug trafficking.”
“He and his Israeli interlocutors are expected to discuss establishing a direct flight route between Israel and the Philippines, agricultural cooperation and security deals,” The Times of Israel also said.
Last month, Mr. Duterte hinted that he might visit Kuwait because all of his demands have been granted. “I think I’ll go there. I’d like to thank the Kuwaiti government for understanding us, keeping their faith in us, and practically giving all of my demands,” he said in his speech during his meeting with the Filipino community in South Korea on June 3.
He also said the Filipino workers in Kuwait will now be allowed to enjoy a day off, keep their passports, and cook their own food, among others.