Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte received an invitation to the White House by no other than U.S. President Donald Trump.
In a statement issued by the White House on Saturday, it was revealed that Trump had a “very friendly conversation” with Duterte. It also confirmed the invitation given extended to Duterte to visit the White House to discuss the “importance of the United States-Philippines alliance,” according to ABC News.
“It was a very friendly conversation, in which the two leaders discussed the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding regional security, including the threat posed by North Korea. They also discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world,” said the White House release.
According to The New York Times, Trump and Duterte also talked about the “very hard” battle in the Philippines against illegal drugs. The Philippine president’s declaration of war on drugs since his appointment last year has caused thousands of deaths and drawn the criticism of many local and international human rights groups.
Trump, who recently met with Chinese president Xi Jingping, said that he looks forward to visiting the Philippines in November for the East Asia Summit and the U.S.–ASEAN Summit, according to ABC News.
Trump and Duterte have been compared in the past for their similar rhetoric and controversial outbursts.