Arroyo travels to U.S., meeting with Obama

July 29, 2009 at 9:28 AM
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MANILA, Philippines, July 29 (UPI) -- Philippine President Gloria Arroyo traveled to the United States Wednesday for a week-long trip, including a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Before departing, Arroyo said she and Obama would discuss a number of issues, including climate change and the global economic recession, GMANews reported.

Arroyo said she also would express her appreciation to the U.S. government for approving benefits for Filipino World War II veterans. The tax-free, one-time payment for Filipino veterans was included in the $787 billion stimulus package.

Philippine Sen. Rodolfo Biazon said he suspected Arroyo would be subjected to a "grilling" by U.S. officials on reports of political killings, enforced disappearances and corruption in the Philippines.

Human rights advocates in the United States have been lobbying the White House to raise these issues with Arroyo, GMANews said.

Arroyo is scheduled to visit New York, Chicago and Guam before returning to the Philippines Aug. 5.

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