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Trump has 'warm rapport' with Philippines' Duterte

Trump has 'warm rapport' with Philippines' Duterte”

"I think there's a warm rapport there and he's very much looking forward to his first in-person meeting with President Duterte", the USA official told reporters during a background briefing on Trump's November 3-14 trip to Asia.

A senior adviser of AI said that it was crucial that Trump raised the issue of human rights violation during his meeting with Duterte in November.

A transcript of the briefing on Trump's visit to Asia was provided by the US Embassy in Manila, which did not name the official.

In a telephone conference with worldwide media, one senior White House official said the bilateral meeting will take place on November 13.

Duterte first called Trump after the latter was elected president in November a year ago.

"There's a warm rapport there", the official said.

He will then proceed to Vietnam on November 10 for the leaders' meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

That came after a senior White House official briefed reporters on the trip earlier Tuesday and emphasized that Trump and Duterte have exchanged letters and spoken by phone as part of a thawing of relations between the two countries.

Last April, Trump returned the favor and called Duterte at the conclusion of the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Manila.

Duterte is accused by worldwide human rights groups of supporting a campaign of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines, which his government denies.

"Trump's explicit eagerness to meet with the architect of a killing campaign that has resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 men, women and children over the past 16 months is more than a grievous insult to injury for family members of victims", Kine was quoted by the United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian as saying.

After he assumed the presidency in July 2016, Duterte made moves indicating a shift in foreign policy towards China and Russian Federation, and away from the country's longstanding ally, the United States.

"The amount of cooperation that's taking place below the leader level and made possible by our longstanding relationship and alliance with the Philippines is still very robust", he noted.

He however would skip the East Asian Summit also in Manila on November 14 due to what the American envoy in the country termed as scheduling problems. "We can't have him away from Washington forever", the official said.



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