The White House is defending President Donald Trump’s decision to invite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to Washington, saying his cooperation is needed to counter North Korea and despite his alleged support of extra-judicial killings of drug suspects. Nathan Frandino reports.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND; MANILA, PHILIPPINES (REUTERS / HOST BROADCASTER / KRT) – Fighting back once again against criticism, the White House says its invitation to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte comes down to unity over North Korea.
North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday and is vowing to continue the tests.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday Trump’s Duterte invite was to firm up support in Southeast Asia.
Duterte, who came to power last year, is accused of supporting the extrajudicial killing of more than 9,000 drug suspects in his country.
…an issue UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein says must be addressed directly by the White House.
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS HIGH COMMISSIONER ZEID RA’AD AL-HUSSEIN SAYING:
“(U.S.) Ambassador Nikki Haley (to the U.N.) has said that she will make human rights a priority, so one hopes the messages will be very clear and undiluted from the President of the United States, to the President of the Philippines.”
But Duterte is not he only controversial figure being invited to the White House.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who heads the military government that took power in a 2014 coup, has also been asked and has reportedly accepted his invitation to meet President Trump.