Foreign government officials, who gathered in Manila for the 50th ASEAN ministerial meetings, seem to have adapted themselves to these local multicultural traditions. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavosoglu, who had a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Sunday, greeted journalists in nearly flawless Russian.
Turkish FM Mevlut Cavosoglu, in Russian: “Dobriy den’, zdravstvuite” (Good day, hello) pic.twitter.com/w7RSrm5jfF— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) 7 августа 2017 г.
On Monday, Lavrov is expected to meet with the head of European diplomacy Frederica Mogherini, as well as with top diplomats from Brunei, Philippines, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore.
The situation in the Philippines itself is quite tense. Armed forces have been battling with extremists affiliated with the Islamic State (Daesh) in the city of Marawi since May this year.
Strict dress code for journos at the ASEAN venue in Manila: blue jeans=NO, tan chinos=OK. pic.twitter.com/8hGAPoe7kV— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) 7 августа 2017 г.
Foreign ministers also had their share of dressing up in Manila. But unlike the unusual requirements for the press, this was a normal part of the informal “theatrics” of the annual ASEAN conference. On Sunday, heads of foreign delegations, including Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, arrived at the gala dinner wearing traditional Filipino Barong shirts.
Russian FM Sergey Lavrov wearing embroidered Filipino barong shirt joined other ASEAN diplomats on stage before gala dinner in Manila. pic.twitter.com/Y3MUAdl57t— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) 7 августа 2017 г.
Following his three-day stay in Manila, Sergey Lavrov will continue his Asian trip. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry is planning to visit Indonesia and Thailand, where he’s expected to hold a series of bilateral meetings.