The Washington Post

Philippine president arrives on 4-day visit


Rodrigo Duterte, who is accused of committing serious human rights violations as part of his deadly crackdown on drugs at home and has stirred controvers­y with comments about the Holocaust, received a warm welcome in Israel when he arrived Sunday for a four-day visit.

Ahead of his departure, Duterte said he “looks forward to broader cooperatio­n on a broad range of mutually important areas,” including defense and security, economic developmen­t and trade.

Sales of Israeli weapons to his government are high on the agenda, according to Israeli media.

Duterte drew outrage in 2016 when he compared his anti-drug campaign to the Nazi genocide of Jews in World War II and said he would be “happy to slaughter” 3 million addicts. He later apologized.

Israeli human rights activists plan to protest the visit and have encouraged President Reuven Rivlin not to meet him.

Philippine police tallies place the number of suspects killed in police-led anti-drug raids at more than 4,500 since Duterte took office in June 2016.

Duterte’s visit marks the first by a Philippine president to Israel since the countries establishe­d diplomatic relations in 1957.

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