Biden to meet Philippine leader Marcos during U.N. gathering

September 22, 2022 - 9:54 AM
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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrives to address the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York City, U.S., September 20, 2022. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

 Philippines leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden for the first time on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York, according to an official and a source familiar with the plan.

In a Tweet on her official account on Wednesday that was later deleted, Marcos’ press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said they were expected to discuss trade, investment and strengthening ties. A U.S. source familiar with the plans also confirmed the meeting had been arranged.

The office of Marcos and the Philippine foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on the meeting, which the White House has yet to announce.

Marcos, the son and namesake of the late strongman who was overthrown in a 1986 public revolt, was elected president in May and has not been to the United States in 15 years.

He is the subject of a contempt of a court order for refusing to cooperate with a Hawaii court that ruled the Marcos family must pay $2 billion of plundered wealth to victims of abuses under his father’s martial law era.

Marcos Jr, who has rejected allegations his family stole from the treasury, has diplomatic immunity as head of state.

In his speech at the general debate at the U.N. assembly on Tuesday, Marcos called on global leaders to reinvigorate the world economy, follow an international rules-based order and to urgently comply with their climate commitments.

The Philippines is one of the biggest U.S. allies in Asia and the two countries hold regular military exercises, part of a series of agreements that include a 70-year-old mutual defense treaty.

—Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Martin Petty