Trump invites Philippines' Duterte to White House

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, April 30 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has invited his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte to the White House, an official statement announced.

"President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November," the statement said on Saturday, adding that Trump invited Duterte to the White House "to discuss the importance of the US-Philippines alliance."

The White House statement noted that Trump and Duterte discussed the country's war on drugs, The Hill magazine reported.

"They also discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world," it added.

Duterte made headlines last year when he told former President Barack Obama to "go to hell" after he criticised the Philippine leader's drug war.

"I am the President of a sovereign country, and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people. Son of a b***h, I will swear at you," Duterte said.

Since he took office last year, Duterte has encouraged the extrajudicial killings of thousands of citizens accused of dealing or using drugs, reports the magazine.

He also compared his campaign to kill criminals to the Holocaust.

The Filipino leader also compared himself to Trump earlier this month, praising the US President as "a realistic and a pragmatic thinker" and saying of his approach to tackling illegal drug trade "he will really kill you".

--IANS

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