Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Palace insists no mention of human rights topic in Duterte-Trump meet

Trump's Asia trip ends as it begins: shadowed by Russia Where does that hand go? Trump laughs through awkward Asia leaders' group photo as everyone except the Russian PM crosses arms in traditional handshake ceremony
Howard Terry | 14 November, 2017, 00:55

Protesters have burned a 13-foot effigy of Donald Trump at a demonstration in Manila as world leaders meet for the 31st Asean Summit.

They are expected to hold one-on-one talks on Monday and, if Trump does not bring up any human rights concerns, Duterte is widely expected to trumpet the meeting as an endorsement. "The US President's willingness to challenge the appalling record of President Duterte's "war on drugs" is a crucial test of his administration's commitment to upholding and defending human rights".

A joint statement says the two leaders "underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential". "Thank you", Trump said after his bilateral meeting with Duterte.

Eyes will be on whether Trump does the fist pump, having told Duterte in April he was doing a "great job" in his drug war.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited a duet with Ms. Pilita Corrales upon the orders of the commander in chief of the United States", Duterte stated after he concluded his singing stunt, as heard in the video shared by Public Works Undersecretary, Karen Jimeno. And in a highly surreal moment, President Duterte serenaded Mr Trump with a special love song. President Trump must also make clear that any future USA assistance to the country will be linked to clear progress in reforming the PNP and ending impunity in the police.

President Donald Trump is wrapping up his extensive trip to Asia with an worldwide summit and one-on-one meetings with global partners, including his Philippine host who is overseeing a bloody drug war.

Trump and Duterte were joined by more than a dozen other leaders from Southeast Asia, Australia, Canada, Russia and India.

Global human rights group Amnesty International (AI), meanwhile, urged Trump to press the Philippine government to uphold human rights in the country.

"This brutal macho image that Trump and President Duterte apparently shares and mutually admire is clearly to the detriment of the people in the Philippines, the USA and the world".

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