Yasay seeks dialogue with Trump's top diplomat

BORACAY, Philippines – Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr said he wants to speak with his American counterpart, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as he eyes a "closer relationship" with the US. 

"I personally would like to see through a possibility of a dialogue with my counterpart, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. I hope that this can be done as soon as possible," Yasay said in a media briefing on Tuesday, February 21.

"It will be very important for us as I'm sure it will be important for the United States, in our desire to forge closer ties and closer relationships," Yasay added.

This comes 4 months after Yasay said in a Facebook post, "America has failed us."

Yasay spoke at a media briefing after chairing the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Boracay. (READ: Yasay: '2, 3, or 4' ASEAN ministers back Hague ruling)

In Tuesday's media briefing, Yasay also confirmed that ASEAN foreign ministers discussed the new leadership of US President Donald Trump. 

"The ministers had expressed their views on what they see is an evolving, still evolving policy, of the United States under the presidency of Donald Trump," he said. 

Yasay said the ASEAN ministers "are, however, hopeful" that Trump's policy "will be positive for everyone." – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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