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Duterte to decline Trump’s invitation to visit US — Palace

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 04:38 PM December 27, 2019
BREAK: Donald Tusk

NOVEMBER 13, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte welcomes US President Donald Trump during the opening ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit held at Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City.
INQUIRER file photo / EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte would decline President Donald Trump’s invitation to visit the United States, Malacañang said Friday.

“He [Duterte] said he would respond to the letter-invitation and would decline it,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.

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Duterte has repeatedly said in his previous speeches that he would never go to the US during his term as President after Washington, under former president Barack Obama, became critical of his drug war and anti-criminality campaign.

“He [Duterte] said he never intended to visit the US ever since,” Panelo said.

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But Duterte’s hardline stance agaisnt visiting the US softened after Trump, whom he considers his “friend,” assumed the presidency.

Trump first invited Duterte over a phone call in 2017. In 2018, Duterte revealed he received a letter from Trump’s Cabinet to visit America.

Duterte’s possible visit to the US was again floated after Trump signed Washington’s 2020  national budget, which includes ban on officials allegedly behind Sen. Leila de Lima’s detention.

But Panelo said Duterte does not hold it against Trump.

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: Donald Trump, Malacañang, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo, visit, Washington
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