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At ASEAN Summit, Duterte Met Obama Briefly, but Refused UN Meeting

At ASEAN Summit, Duterte Met Obama Briefly, but Refused UN Meeting

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Sept. 7, 2016 (EIRNS)–At the ASEAN Summit, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who refused an earlier request for a meeting with Ban Ki-Moon, also skipped the ASEAN meeting with the UN today, sending his Foreign Secretary. The UN earlier issued two reports condemning Duterte’s war on drugs on grounds of human rights and extra-judicial killings, to which Duterte responded by calling the UN a “stupid institution.”

Duterte did have a brief discussion with Obama before the gala dinner, and spokesmen on both sides pretended that that cleared the air over Obama cancelling the scheduled meeting and Duterte’s strong denunciation of Obama’s intent to lecture him on human rights and the war on drugs. Otherwise, Duterte was in great demand for bilateral meetings by ASEAN leaders and others, calling on ASEAN to unite with him in a war against drugs and terrorism.

Duterte refused to bring up the Hague Arbitration, and it was not mentioned in the ASEAN-China communiques. He did release pictures of Chinese ships in the area of the Scarborough Shoal, concerned that they may be for creating an artificial island there. China has not responded.

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