Obama Cancels Meeting With Philippine Leader After Insult

Obama Cancels Meeting With Philippine Leader After InsultObama Cancels Meeting With Philippine Leader After Insult

US President Barack Obama has canceled what would have been the first meeting with his Filipino counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte. The move came after Duterte, who has since voiced “regret”, described Obama in vulgar terms.

A day ahead of their planned meeting in Laos for the regional summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte described Obama as a “son of a bitch” to reporters, Deutsche Welle reported.

Obama learned of the remark on the last day of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China. He said he had told his aides to speak with officials in the Philippines “to find out is this, in fact, a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations”.

“The US president will instead meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye,” said Ned Price, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

The Philippine president later expressed regret in a statement issued in the Laotian capital, Vientiane.

“While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US president,” he said in a statement.