US President Barack Obama has cancelled what would have been his first meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday.
US National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement Obama will instead meet South Korean President Park Geun-hye at a regional summit in Laos on Tuesday.
Obama had said he would bring up human rights concerns when meeting the Philippines president. Duterte reacted by using harsh words in front of reporters to describe Obama.
The US president responded by expressing doubts whether a meeting would be constructive.
The cancellation could affect ties between the 2 allies. The US government had regarded a meeting as important for dealing with China’s increased maritime activities in the South China Sea.
Source and image: NHK