MANILA, Philippines – Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will meet US President Joe Biden for the first time on the margins of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York, according to an official and a source familiar with the plans.
Trixie Cruz-Angeles, Marcos’ press secretary, said via a Tweet on her official account on Wednesday that they were anticipated to discuss commerce, investment, and deepening ties. A US source familiar with the planning confirmed the meeting as well.
A request for clarification on the meeting, which the White House has yet to announce, was not immediately responded to either Marcos’ office or the Philippine foreign ministry.
Marcos, the late strongman who was deposed in a public insurrection in 1986, was elected president in May and has not visited the United States in 15 years.
He is in contempt of court for refusing to cooperate with a Hawaii court that determined the Marcos family must pay $2 billion in restitution to victims of atrocities under his father’s martial law regime.
As head of state, Marcos Jr has diplomatic immunity and has denied charges that his family stole from the Treasury.
In his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Marcos urged world leaders to revitalize the global economy, adhere to an international rules-based system, and meet their climate pledges as soon as possible.
The Philippines is one of the United States’ most important Asian allies, and the two countries conduct regular military exercises as part of a series of agreements, including a 70-year-old mutual defense treaty.