- President Rodrigo Duterte will be out of the country starting next week for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Laos
- It is likely possible that President Barack Obama is going to meet with Duterte as the US leader is going to embark on an eight-day victory tour on the continent as well
- The White House has commented that Obama wanted to talk to Duterte about some of the pressing issues the tough-talking president has been embroiled in
The ASEAN Summit next week is an opportunity for two of the world’s most powerful leaders to build up a rapport.
On September 6, there is a possibility that US President Barack Obama and President Rodrigo Duterte might meet on the sidelines of the said summit which will start on September 6 in Laos.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella is unsure if the probability of these two presidents meeting is high but White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said otherwise.
Earlier this week, Rhodes said that their president was expected to meet his Philippine counterpart to discuss some of the issues Duterte is criticized for such as human rights and security issues.
“We absolutely expect President Obama [to] raise concerns about some of the recent statements from the President of the Philippines,” he said, pertaining to some of Duterte’s provocative statements on various subjects like journalists, women, and the United Nations.
Abella, on the other hand, stated that Duterte wanted to build ties with Obama if the proposed meeting does take place.
“Basically, they’ll establish acquaintances first, establish rapport and relationship,” he said.
However, the extrajudicial killings made in Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign will not be brought up despite the alarm it has caused not only in Washington but in the United Nations as well.
(photo credit: inquirer.net)
But for Rhodes, Obama was likely to express his concern over the spate of killings and the demagogic remarks of the tough-talking president.
“We regularly meet with the leaders of our treaty allies where we have differences, whether it relates to human rights practices or derogatory comments. We take the opportunity of those meetings to raise those issues directly,” he added.
It has been known that the Philippines is one of the most loyal allies of the United States, aside from being its former colony, the two countries are also bound by a mutual defense pact.
The president’s trip will start next week and he is expected to visit three countries – Brunei, Laos, and Malaysia. Abella said a part of Duterte’s trip will be visiting the local Filipino communities in each country.
Conversely, Obama’s trip to Asia is an eight-day victory tour that celebrates his administration’s efforts to expand his country’s influence in the continent.-Kami Media