US President Donald Trump said he has a “great relationship” with Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte, after a highly anticipated meeting in Manila.
It was unclear whether Mr Trump raised human rights violations in the country, despite calls for him to do so. The previous US administration had spoken out against Mr Duterte’s war on drugs, which has killed almost 4,000 people.
After the private meeting, the US president did not respond to questions about whether he had raised the subject of human rights while a spokesman for Mr Duterte said the topic had not been discussed.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later said the topic was mentioned briefly in their private meeting, in the context of the war on drugs, but did not give further details.
Mr Trump has previously praised Mr Duterte’s war on drugs, reportedly telling him: “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing.”