Un­like US chief, Trudeau does the Duterte

The Australian - - WORLD -

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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