Duterte: Trump Wished Me Success in Drug Crackdown

He says he's been invited to visit White House
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 3, 2016 5:31 AM CST
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a speech at Manila's International Airport, Philippines on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016.   (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
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(Newser) – President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday Donald Trump wished his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs would succeed during a telephone call, and he assured the US president-elect the Philippines would maintain its ties with America—a departure from Duterte's hostility toward the Obama administration. Duterte called to congratulate Trump late Friday in a talk that was described by an aide of the Philippine president as "very engaging, animated conversation" in which both leaders invited each other to visit his country, the AP reports.

In a video released by a Duturte aide, the Philippine leader is seen smiling while talking to Trump and saying: "We will maintain ... and enhance the bilateral ties between our two countries." The other parts of the conversation were not aired in the video but in a statement released by his aides, Duterte said Trump "was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem." "He understood the way we are handling it and I said that there's nothing wrong in protecting a country," Duterte said. "It was a bit very encouraging in the sense that I supposed that what he really wanted to say was that we would be the last to interfere in the affairs of your own country." (Trump also had a controversial talk with Taiwan's president.)

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