Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte told RT in an exclusive interview that he has no plans to visit the US for the ASEAN summit, having already snubbed one invitation over a clash of words with Obama.
The Filipino leader told RT’s Murad Gazdiev that he’s never been to the United State, even though he once received an offer from Obama to come to Washington. He said he turned down the invitation after being criticized by the Democratic president during a press conference.
“He should have realized that I’m also the head of a sovereign state,” Duterte explained, arguing that there were diplomatic channels that Obama could have used to make his concerns heard. “He should have brought the case to the United Nations rather than castigate a president of another country in a press conference.”
The bad blood between the two leaders can be traced back to Obama’s criticism over Duterte’s implementation of his war on drugs. Duterte – known for not mincing his words – fired back by threatening to “break up with America” and telling Obama that he could “go to hell.”
In the interview to RT, Duterte noted that he has received a similar invitation from Trump to participate in a summit with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders.
The US-ASEAN meeting is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas in March, with economic issues – such as use of the disputed South China Sea – likely to be at the top of the agenda.