World

Obama Meets Duterte After Cancelling Official Meeting Over ‘Son Of A Whore’ Comment

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
Font Size:

The White House canceled a meeting Tuesday with the Philippine president after he called President Barack Obama a “son of a whore.” Turns out, they met anyway.

Philippine officials revealed that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Obama met informally at a regional summit in Laos, said The Associated Press. The two reportedly met in a holding room before attending a dinner at a regional summit. The short meeting is said to have helped clear the air after Duterte’s distasteful comments.

The White House initially canceled the meeting after Duterte cursed at Obama’s plans to criticize the Philippine president’s human rights violations. “You must be respectful. Do not throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in the forum,” Duterte said, defending his right to wage a drug war which has ended thousands of lives.

Obama said that he wanted wait until he and Duterte could have “constructive, productive conversations.”

“Given the important issues that we have, having a meeting a meeting where all we were gonna discuss was a series of comments, frankly did not strike us as the most constructive way to approach a bilateral meeting,” National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said, explaining why the White House chose to cancel the meeting.

“Words matter, and we want to see an atmosphere that is cordial and open to cooperation,” U.S. Department of State spokesperson Mark Toner elaborated at a press conference, reports the Manila Times.

After cursing at the president, Duterte expressed a degree of regret, stating that he did not intend his comments as a “personal attack on the U.S. president.”

“We look forward to ironing out our differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions,” a spokesperson said on Duterte’s behalf.

If, in fact, Obama and Duterte did meet, then the U.S.-Philippine relationship remains intact. “The nature of our alliance with the Philippines has been and remains rock solid,” Rhodes told reporters on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter described the relationship as “strong” and “longstanding.”

The U.S. is reportedly giving the Philippines two Sherpa 30-seater aircraft to boost the Philippines’ coast guard capabilities as it attempts to counter China in the South China Sea.

Follow Ryan on Twitter

Send tips to ryan@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.