Duterte changes tune with praise for US al­lies

Global Times - - World -

Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte voiced rare praise for the US on Thurs­day, call­ing it an im­por­tant se­cu­rity ally, and dis­miss­ing his­toric griev­ances and his slew of past tirades against Wash­ing­ton as “wa­ter un­der the bridge.”

Duterte’s anti-Amer­i­can out­bursts have be­come no­to­ri­ous and baf­fling con­cern­ing one of Wash­ing­ton’s clos­est Asian al­lies since the na­tion gained in­de­pen­dence from the US in 1946.

He was speak­ing on the 116th an­niver­sary of one of the blood­i­est bat­tles in the Amer­i­can-Philip­pines war on the cen­tral is­land of Sa­mar.

Last year, at his first in­ter­na­tional sum­mit in Laos, Duterte stunned re­gional lead­ers when he showed them pic­tures of that mas­sacre.

Then US pres­i­dent Barack Obama can­celed a bi­lat­eral meet­ing there with Duterte, who had called him a “son of a bitch” days ear­lier for ex­press­ing con­cern about his bloody war on drugs.

On Thurs­day, Duterte said he had been ad­vised to tone down his anti-Amer­i­can rhetoric and had pos­i­tive words for the US mil­i­tary, with which he has re­peat­edly threat­ened to sever ties, be­sides ac­cus­ing it of sup­ply­ing in­ef­fec­tive com­bat hard­ware and of mak­ing the Philip­pines a po­ten­tial tar­get for war.

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