TrumP, dutErtE hold firSt EVEr mEEt­ing At APEC Sum­mit

The Sunday Guardian - - World -

DANANG, Viet­nam: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump met Philippine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte for the first time at the Asia Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) sum­mit in Viet­nam on Satur­day.

The meet­ing was “short but was warm and cor­dial,” Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, told re­porters. “The lead­ers were gen­er­ally pleased to fi­nally meet each other in per­son,” he said.

Trump told Duterte “see you to­mor­row,” Roque said.

Both the lead­ers are in Danang, Viet­nam for the APEC sum­mit. Trump will head to Manila on Sun­day for the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) sum­mit on the last leg of his 12-day Asian trip.

Duterte—some­times de­scribed ‘Trump of the East’ be­cause of his brash and mer­cu­rial style—had said on Wed­nes­day that he would tell the US pres­i­dent to “lay off” if he raised the is­sue of hu­man rights when they met. More than 3,900 Filipinos have been killed in what the po­lice call self-de­fence in Duterte’s war on drugs. Critics say ex­e­cu­tions are tak­ing place with zero ac­count­abil­ity, al­le­ga­tions the po­lice re­ject. But Trump, who has been crit­i­cised at home for ne­glect­ing rights is­sues in deal­ings abroad, in May praised Duterte for do­ing an “un­be­liev­able job on the drug prob­lem”.

Hu­man rights, rule of law and due process were among top­ics Trump and Duterte would likely dis­cuss dur­ing their bi­lat­eral talks, Sung Kim, US am­bas­sador to Manila, had said last month.

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