Philippines' Duterte Says He Snubbed Obama at Summit

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte insisted that he snubbed US leader Barack Obama after Washington cancelled their scheduled bilateral meeting in Laos last week.

Philippines' Duterte Says He Snubbed Obama at Summit

Duterte sparked a storm ahead of an Asian gathering by labeling Obama a "son of a whore", and prompting the US leader to cancel planned talks between the two allies on September 6. The pair met briefly later after Duterte expressed regret.

But the fiery Filipino leader said he skipped another meeting there two days later between Obama and Southeast Asian leaders, following US criticism of Manila's anti-crime campaign which has claimed almost 3,000 lives, AFP reported.

"I purposely did not attend the bilateral talks between ASEAN countries and the president of the United States," Duterte said in a speech to police and military personnel.

"I really skipped that one."

"You just cannot (lecture) a president of a sovereign state. Even Obama. It would have been wrong for him to do that. That is why I disrespected them."

Duterte won presidential elections by a landslide in May after promising that tens of thousands of people would be killed in an unprecedented law-and-order crackdown. Security forces have relentlessly followed his orders since he took office on June 30.

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