US Diplomat in Philippines to Discuss Duterte's Comments
The most senior U.S. diplomat for Asia is in the Philippines days after President Rodrigo Duterte, during a visit to China, said he intended to sever ties with the U.S.
Daniel Russel plans to meet Monday with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay in an attempt to get some clarification of Duterte’s intentions.
On Saturday, President Duterte backpedaled a bit on his comments in Beijing, saying he is not actually cutting ties with the U.S. because “It’s in the best interest of my country that we maintain that relationship.”
The U.S. embassy in Manila said the Philippine president’s comments have created “unnecessary uncertainty.”
After the Philippines, Russel visits Thailand where he will convey his condolences on the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and meet with Thai officials to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Russel will then head to Cambodia to meet with government and opposition party officials and civil society organizations.