Unlike US chief, Trudeau does the Duterte
Justin Trudeau tackled Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte over allegations of extrajudicial killings in Manila’s drug war, he said yesterday.
The Canadian Prime Minister’s comments came the day after US President Donald Trump hailed the “great relationship” he enjoys with Mr Duterte in a meeting the Philippine government said did not touch on human rights.
“I also mentioned human rights, the rule of law, and specifically extrajudicial killings as being an issue that Canada is concerned with,” Mr Trudeau said in Manila, recounting a conversation with Mr Duterte on the sidelines of the annual East Asia summit. “I impressed upon him the need for respect for the rule of law.”
Wrapping up his nine-day Asia tour, Mr Trump declared all countries that trade with the US “know that the rules have changed”.
“The United States has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion,” he tweeted from Manila, the final stop before he arrives back in Washington today.
“The massive TRADE deficits must go down quickly!”
It was a theme Trump stressed repeatedly through Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and The Philippines, including one-onone meetings with the leaders of those nations, including Australia.
Mr Trump insists multibillion-dollar deficits that favour US trading partners will be reduced to zero, and that trade overall must be fair and mutually beneficial.
He commented shortly after arriving at his third and final summit of the trip, the annual East Asia summit of leaders from throughout the region, although he mentioned an earlier summit in the tweet. He attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Monday.
Ahead of the summit, rights groups had urged leaders to challenge Mr Duterte over what they say are gross abuses. Since he took office, police have reported killing 3967 people in the crackdown.
Yesterday, Mr Trudeau said Canada had earned a reputation for discussing human rights and the rule of law with other nations. Asked how Mr Duterte respond- ed, Mr Trudeau said: “The president was receptive to my comments and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange”. He said he offered support to Mr Duterte “as a friend to help move forward on what is a real challenge”.
A Philippine presidential spokesman insisted on Monday that human rights had not come up during the Trump-Duterte talks, although the White House said they had done so “briefly”.
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