Mon, Feb 20, 2017 | updated 02:17 PM IST

I don't take such comments personally: Obama on Philippines Prez 'son of a whore' remark

Updated: Sep 08, 2016 19:42 IST

Vientiane [Laos], Sep. 8 (ANI): United States President Barack Obama said he does not take remarks like those of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte personally, saying it is perhaps Rodrigo's way of speaking.

"I don't take such comments personally because it seems that this is a phrase he has used repeatedly, including directed to the Pope and others. So, I think it seems to be just a habit, a way of speaking for him," said Obama, while responding to a poser about Philippine President calling him 'son of a whore'.

While speaking at the ASEAN Summit in Laos, Obama also said the U.S. will not abandon its position on cooperation in various areas with the Philippines.

"We are not going to back off from our position when we are working with a country," he said adding, "It has no impact on our broader relationship with the Philippine people and on the wide range of programmes and security cooperation."

On being asked if he interacted with the Philippine President in Laos, he said, "I did shake hands with President Duterte last night. It was not a long interaction and what is indicated to him is just that my team should be meeting with his and determines how we could move forward on a whole range of issues."

He said that Philippines and the U.S. will cooperates on the issue of narco traffickers and will hold talks as soon as the Philippines chalks out its plans about what are the areas of possible cooperation between the two nations.

"We want to partner with the Philippines on the particular issue of narco traffickers which is a serious problem in the Philippines, it is a serious problem in the US and around the world," said Obama.

"As President Duterte and his team get acclimated to his new position that they are able to define and clarify, what exactly they want to get done? How that fits in with the work that we are already doing with the Philippines and hopefully it will be on a strong footing by the time the next administration comes in," he added.

Earlier, the U.S. cancelled a meeting with the Philippines at Laos after Duterte Obama as a "son of a whore" and warned him not to question his policy of extrajudicial killings, while answering a reporter's question about how he intends to explain recent events in the Philippines to the U.S. President.

However, following the cancelation of the meeting, Duterte said he regretted his earlier comments, saying the remark was not intended as a personal insult.

Duterte, in a statement, said both sides have agreed to move the meeting to a later date.

However, it's not even the first time he has verbally abused a world leader. Last November, he called Pope Francis, a "son of a whore", for apparently exacerbating the country's already chronic traffic during an official visit. He then announced he wished to visit the Vatican to personally apologise to the Catholic Church leader.

Last month as well, Duterte sparked a diplomatic row with Washington when he called Philip Goldberg, the U.S. ambassador to the country, a "gay son of a whore". (ANI)

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