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Begin forwarded message:
From: "Wan, William" >
Date: September 8, 2016 at 11:46:42 AM GMT+7
To: "email@example.com" >
Subject: Travel Pool Report #4 -- ASEAN intrigue as reporters hunt for duterte
POTUS arrives, shakes hands with us amb to asean. On eay to stage he shakes exchanges warm words with ASSK. Walks up to stage with others for Family photo.
Sidenote: have now been huddled with video pool and others for while trying to ascetain interaction if any between obama and duterte. After a csi-like effort we have come to zero conclusion on anything, whether we saw duterte at meeting, what movements he made. Whether obama shook his hand. Whether he was spotted earlier on grassy knoll. (At this point duterte has become the Asean equivalent of britney spears....what is he wearing and what does it say about US-Phil relations?...consider that free story idea for any takers.)
Current thinking after looking at photos among pool is that duterte was not at meeting.
Okay 2nd sidenote: your pool now feels fairly certian in saying that duterte was not present. We compared and matched family photo with standing chart in media booklet. The man standing two ti right of Obama is supposed to represent Philippines, but he is most definitely not duterte. He is a short man with a too happy grin with white hair and the only man dressed in white (all other leaders dressed in dark suits + ASSK in her usual fashionable garb)
Now return to regularly sked program: Awkwardness as leaders on stage try to figure out handshake. End up crossing arms across chest to hold each others' hands in a weird bunting-style line pose.
Lower mekong initiative leaders are requested to stay on stage. Wedding photo like confusion ensues as leaders try to sort out who among them that is.
Potus sits down at head of table. Laos, chair of asean this year sits at other end.
In opening statement, POTUS does bruce springsteen-like rendition of greatest hits:
How often he'a met with asean leaders
"Reflects growing importance of asean and this region"
Asean key to "prosperous world"
Rule based order and human rights
Importance of paris Climate change agreement
"We will continue to push for completion of Trans pacific partnership."
South china sea ruling in july "was binding"
"We'll continue trying to resolve issue peacefully."
His rendition seems well-received, altho no one at table holds up lighter for encore : )