- Thomson Reuters
US President-elect Donald Trump spoke on the telephone on Friday with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte and invited him to visit the White House next year during a “very engaging, animated” talk, an aide to Duterte said.
The call lasted just over seven minutes, Duterte’s special advisor, Christopher Go, said in a text message to media, according to Reuters.
Go, Duterte’s longtime aide and better known as “Bong Go,” said the Philippines president had invited Trump to come to his country next year when it is chair of a series of summits of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Duterte and Trump have drawn numerous comparisons in recent months, as both of them have a brash style and populist leanings.
Duterte, who took office this summer, as also presided over a bloody anti-drug campaign that has seen thousands of people slain, both in official police operations and by unknown killers though to be vigilantes or death squads.
The Philippine president has also raged at the Western world, slamming Western powers for hypocrisy and repeatedly denouncing the US for its criticisms of his drug war and the legacy of its colonial rule in his country. In addition to Trump, Duterte has made overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin and to China.
— Nestor Corrales (@NCorralesINQ) December 2, 2016
Despite that, however, Duterte greeted Trump’s election with approbation, saying, “Long live, Mr. Trump! We both curse at the slightest of reasons. We are alike.”
“He and Donald Trump are friends,” the Philippine National Police chief said in a post-election announcement that the country would forge ahead with an arms deal that was in doubt under the Obama administration.
(Reporting for Reuters by Martin Petty and Manuel Mogato; editing by Catherine Evans)