US President-elect Donald Trump shared a telephone call with Rodrigo Duterte and invited him to visit the White House next year during a “very engaging, animated” talk, an aide to the Philippines leader has said.
The call lasted just over seven minutes, the President of the Phillipine’s special advisor, Christopher Go, said in a text message to media.
Duterte maintains a rocky relationship with the Obama administration, calling President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and telling him to “go to hell.” Obama’s persistent lecturing and criticisms of Duterte’s brutal drug war infuriate the Philippine president.
At one point, he even announced his “separation from America.” Duterte has since walked back those statements and promised to uphold existing agreements.
Duterte made multiple overtures to China and Russia, casting uncertainty over the U.S.-Philippines alliance.
Defense ties remain strong; however, the relationship at the presidential level has been unstable, but that may change under Trump.
Duterte was among the first world leaders to congratulate Trump after he won the presidential election.
Several retired generals recently urged Duterte to “reset” his foreign policies to allow the U.S. and the Philippines to become “great friends again.”
After the election, Duterte said he was done fighting with the U.S. Both Duterte and Trump are strong populist, anti-establishment leaders.
“Long live, Mr. Trump!” Duterte said, “I don’t want to quarrel anymore, because Trump has won.”