Trump heads home after 'tremendously successful' Asia trip

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2017

The latest Russian initiatives were part of the intensified defense cooperation reached in a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in Vietnam on Friday. "We should look forward to signing military and technical agreements", he added.

Karapatan alleged that the Trump administration has dropped 32,801 bombs in at least seven countries in Asia and the Middle East this year alone. "But I only want to emphasise that our meetings for the next two days present an excellent opportunity for us to engage in meaningful discussion on matters of regional and worldwide importance", he said.

Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke separately about the territorial rifts ahead of an annual summit of Southeast Asian nations and the U.S., China and other global players in Manila, where the disputes are high on the agenda. He said a charitable reading of the meeting would be that Duterte was alluding to human rights issues when he said the drug war was important as an issue of "human development".

Overly amicable talks between Trump and Putin would be an awkward sell for the White House as it denies any wrongdoing.

Critics, however, say Duterte has empowered police to murder suspected drug users and dealers with impunity. Harry Roque, a spokesman for Duterte, said: "There was no mention of human rights".

A likeness of President Duterte peeked out from behind the figure, as the two leaders sat down for formal talks less than three kilometres away. Over the past year and a half, the violence has snowballed, with an enormous death toll.

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But rights groups have expressed alarm and disappointment that Trump and most others are likely to endorse or stay silent over Duterte's violent rule, which has seen thousands of people killed.

Among Trump's newest friends in the region is Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whom Trump repeatedly praised and joked around with on Monday.

But after worldwide pressure - including an economic threat by the European Union to strip the Philippines of trading privileges worth billions - and declining support at home, Duterte scaled back the policy in October.

As The Philippine Star reported, Duterte renewed his complaints about Trump's predecessor in his remarks on Thursday, calling Obama "so black and arrogant". Bishop had previously criticised the drug war.

In May, the group mounted a surprise assault on the city Marawi, shortly after the government tried to capture one ISIS group's leader. For weeks, then months, the two sides fought back and forth, block by block.

"They have extended their open support for us in fighting terrorism and drugs". While the threat of small-scale attacks and bombings remains, as well as unexploded bombs and other weapons, people are finally beginning to return to their lives.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, attended the opening ceremony along with the other ASEAN Leaders, among them Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Other reports by GizPress

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