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Obama, Duterte meet despite Filipino leader's crude language

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the National Convention Center for scheduled bilateral meetings with ASEAN leaders.

The new Philippines president did not just obliterate the rules of behavior of the global leader's club with his remarks. "Same thing with music", Obama said.

Duterte on Monday caused a major diplomatic rift with the United States after branding President Barack Obama a "son of a whore" who would wallow like a pig. "The relationship with the U.S. was seen as very significant".

It is not only in Japan where President Duterte is being regarded like a rock star but also here in Laos' largest city and capital where the 28th and 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits are being held.

New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has taken a more conciliatory approach than his predecessor to rebuild relations with China, and has said he would not raise the long-simmering territorial dispute in an adversarial manner that might upset Beijing.

In a statement, released on Tuesday, Duterte expressed regret that the comments "came across as a personal attack on the US President".

He pointed to the killing of Muslim Moros more than a century ago during a USA pacification campaign in the southern Philippines, blaming the wounds of the past as "the reason why (the south) continues to boil" with separatist insurgencies. Even after independence, Washington kept a vast garrison in Subic Bay in the Philippines until being ordered to leave in 1992.

During the election campaign earlier this year Duterte attracted widespread criticism for saying he had wanted to rape a "beautiful" Australian missionary who had been sexually assaulted and murdered in a Philippine prison riot.

China claims the entire South China Sea as its own, citing historical reasons.

Duterte has emphasized that he was responding to a reporter's question over how he would explain to the US the extrajudicial killings of more than 2,000 suspected drug dealers and users in his home country. The carnage has sparked alarm among human rights groups, which have complained about a wave of extrajudicial killings. While the canceled meeting was clearly meant to send a message, the United States has also been eager to brush aside any perceived tension.

While the direction of US-Asia policy remains in doubt in the new administration, the next White House will face a delicate task in managing Duterte. "You just can not shoot a statement against the president of any country".

Relations were severely strained under Duterte's predecessor because of the conflict.

Multiple agreements were also reached on managing differences properly.

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