- US president praised Duterte for successful hosting of ASEAN summit
- He reaffirmed US-PH ties, said he’s a friend of the administration
- He also said US seeks warmer relations and concurrent success with ASEAN
MANILA, Philippines – US President Donald Trump had nothing but praises for his counterpart President Rodrigo Duterte for the latter’s hosting of the ASEAN summit.
In a bilateral meeting, Trump thanked Duterte for the hospitality and treatment as he affirmed the ties between the US and the Philippines.
“We’ve had a great relationship. This has been very successful. And the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) conference has been handled beautifully by the president in the Philippines,” InterAksyon quoted him as saying. “So I think in behalf of the leaders, and everybody, I want to thank you and I want to thank the Philippines.”
“We are your ally. We are an important ally,” he added.
Duterte had blasted Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama over criticism of his human rights record. Trump, however, assured him that he would be his friend unlike the previous administration.
The US president also touted his administration’s gains after he assumed office: claiming that their economy has been re-invigorated.
“We’ve had the highest stock market we’ve ever had, we’ve had the lowest unemployment in 17 years, and the value of stocks has risen $5.5 trillion. And companies are moving in to the US, a lot of companies are moving back. They want to be there,” he said. “The enthusiasm levels are the highest ever recorded on the charts.”
According to Trump, a strong US economy also means good news for ASEAN as he seeks stronger ties between the two.
“We think that bodes very well for your region because of the partnership that we have so we want our partners in the region to be strong, independent and prosperous. In control of their own destinies and satellites to no one,” he said.