Philippines says Trump called Duterte to affirm alliance
03 May, 2017, 02:23 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president who called President Barack Obama a "son of a whore" and told him to "go to hell", has been invited by President Donald Trump to visit the White House.
Donald Trump held a phone conversation with Philippines' leader Rodrigo Duterte where they touched on regional security issues, including the ongoing Korean crisis, the White House said in a statement.
Philippine police have reported killing 2,724 people as part of Duterte's anti-drug campaign, although authorities insist the shootings have been in self defence.
Mr. Trump and Duterte will "discuss the importance of the United States-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction", the White House said.
Meanwhile, the Malacañang Palace also revealed that during the call, Trump confirmed his visit to the Philippines as he is committed to the Philippine-US alliance.
Trump said Thursday there was "a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea", but added he would prefer a diplomatic resolution.
"The U.S. apparently wants to consult allies and strategic partners in Asia to discuss an approach to the tensions over DPRK", Bolivar said, using the acronym of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. A White House readout of Saturday's Duterte call credited his government for "fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs".
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"I am expecting a call from President Trump tonight", Duterte said after wrapping up a meeting of ASEAN leaders in Manila.
President Duterte earlier said he would ask Trump not to go to war with North Korea to spare the ASEAN region from suffering. In an attempt to extinguish the drug epidemic that has crippled his nation, the Filipino president has ordered thousands of traffickers and addicts killed in the streets, even personally admitting to taking the lives of multiple men during his time as a mayor.
"The Philippine president has gone on record claiming that he perpetrated homicide when in a previous capacity he launched a campaign against those involved allegedly in the drug trade", he said to reporters in Geneva.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said Duterte has not yet responded to Trump's offer, adding that an official USA invitation would kick off diplomatic arrangements for Duterte's possible US trip.
Prayuth's office said Monday he had accepted Trump's invitation, while a Singapore Foreign Ministry statement said the two looked forward to seeing each other soon.
Priebus agreed that human rights matter but he argued that the North Korean problem takes precedence. "He understood the way we are handling it and he said there is nothing wrong with protecting your country".
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