11,463. 11/13/2017

FOREIGN POLICY/PHILIPPINES/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump and Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte found common ground during their first extended meeting but skirted difficult issues such as alleged human-rights abuses in Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs and Chinese claims to the South China Sea.
The meeting on Monday was seen as a way for the U.S. and the Philippines to repair a historically close relationship that was shaken last year because of Mr. Duterte’s anti-American rhetoric.
The leaders discussed trade relations, the large Philippines outsourcing industry, U.S. assistance on counterterrorism and their personal relationship, said Harry Roque, a spokesman for Mr. Duterte. He said they affirmed close ties in a ‘frank’ 40-minute discussion and that Mr. Trump told Mr. Duterte that he ‘has a friend’ in the U.S. president…
The tone is a sharp shift from Mr. Duterte’s relationship with the U.S. under President Barack Obama, whom he once insulted for wanting to raise human-rights issues. Mr. Duterte has been public about harboring animosity toward the U.S. for its colonial history in the Philippines.”

-Jake Maxwell Watts, “Trump, Duterte Strike Up a Friendship, Sidestep Thorny Issues,” The Wall Street Journal online, Nov. 13, 2017 07:34am

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