Positive Trump comment on Duterte: Our relationship is perfect

cna tf09fc6317b3b414181fbf8689aba2757 INTERNATIONAL, DONALD TRUMP, RODRIGO DUTERTE

US President Donald Trump referred to his "perfect relations" with his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte today, as the two leaders met on the sidelines of the 31st Conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The US president has come under pressure from human rights groups to take a hard line against Duterte over the bloody war on drugs in the Philippines, which has killed thousands.

Duterte had said last week that he would tell Trump "get fired" if the US president raised the issue of human rights abuses in the Philippines.

Trump was criticized last May for his positive comments about Duterte during a telephone conversation. In particular, the US president had told Duterte that he was "doing a good job" in tackling the problem of drug trafficking.

US President Donald Trump discussed brief human rights issues with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in the context of Duterte's war on drugs during their meeting today, according to White House spokesman

The two presidents also discussed the war against the Islamic State, trade issues, and the fight against drug trafficking, during a meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Conference in Manila.

Trump described his relationship with Duterte as "perfect." "Human rights have been briefly discussed in the context of the Philippine war on drugs," Saunders said.