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WATCH: Trump refers to Duterte by first name; lauds US-PH ‘great relationship’

by | TOP STORIES

US President Donald Trump has lauded the “great relationship” of his country with the Philippines, as well as his rapport with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trump on Monday extended his thanks to the latter for his “incredible hospitality” in hosting world  leaders for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related meetings.

Referring Duterte by his first name, Trump said: “Rodrigo, I would like to commend you on your success as ASEAN chair. At this very critical moment in time and in the association’s history, such an important event; and I want thank you for your incredible hospitality.”

He likewise thanked the Philippines for the hospitality and warm treatment afforded to him and his delegation.

“We very much appreciate the great treatment you have given us. I thought last night’s event was fantastic, tremendous talent. Most of them I guess from the Philippines. But tremendous talent. Musical talent, dance talent and we really had a tremendous time, all of the leaders,” Trump said of Sunday’s gala dinner.

“I think on behalf of everybody, I want to thank you and I want to thank the Philippines. Thank you very much,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte affirmed the strong relationship of the Philippines with the US during his bilateral meeting with President Donald Trump on the sidelines of ASEAN Summit, November 13.

The the first formal meeting between the two leaders since they assumed office last year lasted for 40 minutes, pivoting on matters of mutual interest between the two countries such as trade and economy.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who was present during the meeting, Trump singled out the issue on tariffs being imposed on US automobiles while such tariffs are not being imposed on Japanese cars.

The Palace official described the meeting between the two leaders as “frank”.

“President Trump specifically said that he has always been a friend of the Duterte administration unlike the previous administrations of the United States. But he stressed that he can be counted upon as a friend of the Duterte administration,” he added.

Roque, meanwhile, said the issue on human rights was not discussed during the meeting.

“It was not brought up. It was President Duterte who discussed with US President Trump the drug menace in the Philippines. And the US President appeared sympathetic and did not have any official position on the matter but was merely nodding his head indicating that he understood the domestic problem that we face on drugs,” he said.

During the gala dinner hosted by Duterte for the world leaders on Sunday night, Trump made Duterte sing after hearing him humming.

White House officials have said that Mr. Trump has a “warm rapport” with Duterte, with whom he has spoken and exchanged letters since taking office, and that he wants to mend the American-Philippine alliance after strains during the Obama administration.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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