Published: Sun, April 30, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Donald Trump invites controversial Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to White House

"There was a mention of an invitation from President Trump to President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House", Abella, confirming United States reports, said in a statement on Sunday.

"President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November", the readout said, adding that Trump invited Duterte to the White House "to discuss the importance of the United States-Philippines alliance".

He said says that as the global power and more responsible nation, the US should be prudent and not play into the provocations of North Korea's leader.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have intensified, with the latter conducting another ballistic missile test Friday, just hours after the U.S. convened a United Nations meeting to demand more pressure on the isolated country. Trump has previously praised the drug war.

The announcement comes amid rising tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs following its latest test-fire, as well global criticism of Duterte's drug crackdown that has claimed thousands of lives.

US Vice President: US will work with Japan on DPRK
He said: "I urged him to use Beijing's unique influence to restrain North Korea and allow peaceful resolution to this crisis". The conducting a 90-day review of the Iran nuclear deal despite acknowledging that Tehran is complying with the deal.

"We know that they are playing with somebody who relishes letting go of his missiles and everything", Duterte told reporters.

As recently as December, Duterte threatened to end his country's relationship with the USA when he believed the US had ended aid over human rights concerns.

More than 8,000 people have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte started his drug crackdown after assuming office last June. Last year, he admitted to killing at least three people while serving as the Davao City mayor - to set an example to his police force. "We can survive without American money", he said. Abella said Trump also invited Duterte to visit the White House.

The Philippine leader did not explain why Trump planned to call him. "But I would say this: 'Mr President, please see to it that there is no war because my region will suffer'". In the Philippine Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson, a Duterte supporter, said the case against the president is "dustbin bound" for lack of solid evidence.

At his press conference, Duterte said the the "more responsible country who wields the biggest stick".

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