Duterte: My visit to ‘friend’ Trump in US just a matter of scheduling
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said his visit to the United States is just a matter of “scheduling.” This appears to be a softening of his previous hardline stance against visiting the Philippines’ traditional ally.
Duterte had said earlier that he would never go to the US during his term as President after Washington became critical of his drug war and anti-criminality campaign. But this was during the administration of former President Barack Obama.
It appears that his stand is now changing as he hailed on Wednesday his friendship with US President Donald Trump.
“He (Trump) is my friend and of course I have been invited to the United States several times, but you know, it’s not because of anybody or any place there, it has something to do with the schedule,” Duterte said in a speech in during the Asia Pacific Health Islands Conference in Davao City.
The President said long-haul flights from Manila to Washington would “kill” him.
“The long haul 13 to 14 hours would kill me,” he said.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim had said earlier that Duterte’s visit to the US is just a “question of scheduling.”
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