Trump hails Asian tour, but ends it abruptly

  • Tuesday 14, November 2017 in 1:29 PM
Sharjah24 – AFP: Donald Trump hailed a "tremendously successful" five-nation tour of Asia in which he made a lot of friends, as he ended it abruptly Tuesday by skipping most of a Philippine summit.

The US president, who began his journey in Japan 12 days ago, said his trip had seen progress in his goal of narrowing America's yawning trade deficits.
"I've made a lot of friends at the highest levels," Trump told reporters shortly before boarding Air Force One in Manila, adding the trip was "tremendously successful".

"We've explained that the United States is open for trade, but reciprocal trade."

Trump made the comments after briefly gathering with 18 other world leaders ahead of the start of the East Asia Summit, the final set piece of his trip in Asia.

Trump had initially planned to skip the summit, then backtracked after criticism he was turning his back on the region.

But he did not stay for the official start of the summit on Tuesday afternoon, also missing the preceding group photo with his fellow leaders.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sat in for him at the summit, which was scheduled to run into the evening.

The summit groups the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations with Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Russia, as well as the United States.