President Rodrigo Roa Duterte told reporters that Turkey and Mongolia expressed their intent to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) during his arrival speech at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport on Tuesday.
He said that he had a talk with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Prime Minister Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat of Mongolia on separate occasions while in China.
“Gusto nila na mag-sali sa ASEAN. And since I am now the chair, ang Pilipinas ngayon, they wanted me to sponsor their entry and I said, ‘Yes, why not?’” he said.
President Duterte visited China on May 13 to 15 to participate in the Road Belt Forum.
Also, the President divulged that he had a talk with Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi regarding the possible membership of the two countries.
“Ang sabi niya, “Have you considered the physical — the geography whether they are part of the ASEAN or not?” They are. I would say that they are.”
Furthermore, he also said that Turkey seems to be ambivalent to whether it would be a bridge to Europe and Asia or being an Asian.
“There has always been an ambivalent view. Sometimes they say that they are part of Asia, sometimes they say that they are the bridge of Asia to Europe.”
Currently, ASEAN has ten member countries, namely, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.