U.S. diplomat says Philippines an ally, but drug killings a concern | Reuters

By Manuel Mogato and Enrico Dela Cruz | MANILA MANILA The most senior U.S. diplomat for Asia assured the Philippines on Monday that Washington remained its 'trusted' ally and that it supported Manila's blossoming ties with China.U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel however warned that growing concern about drug-related killings in the Southeast Asian country was 'bad for business'.Russel was the first high-level visitor from Washington after President Rodrigo Duterte provoked alarm last week by announcing his country's 'separation' from the United States and realignment with China while on a visit to Beijing.Explaining Duterte's 'Goodbye America' remarks, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said on Saturday the United States remained the 'closest friend' of the Philippines, but Manila wanted to break away from a 'mindset of dependency and subservience' and forge closer ties with other nations.Russel, speaking to reporters after meeting Yasay, said Duterte 'has already walked back'.

Reuters October 24, 2016 22:01:35 IST
U.S. diplomat says Philippines an ally, but drug killings a concern
| Reuters

US diplomat says Philippines an ally but drug killings a concern
 Reuters

By Manuel Mogato and Enrico Dela Cruz
| MANILA

MANILA The most senior U.S. diplomat for Asia assured the Philippines on Monday that Washington remained its "trusted" ally and that it supported Manila's blossoming ties with China.U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel however warned that growing concern about drug-related killings in the Southeast Asian country was "bad for business".Russel was the first high-level visitor from Washington after President Rodrigo Duterte provoked alarm last week by announcing his country's "separation" from the United States and realignment with China while on a visit to Beijing.Explaining Duterte's "Goodbye America" remarks, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said on Saturday the United States remained the "closest friend" of the Philippines, but Manila wanted to break away from a "mindset of dependency and subservience" and forge closer ties with other nations.Russel, speaking to reporters after meeting Yasay, said Duterte "has already walked back".

He said Washington supported direct dialogue and negotiations between the Philippines and China. "So, it's a mistake to think that improved relations between Manila and Beijing somehow come at the expense of the U.S.," he said."We don’t want countries to have to choose between the U.S. and China."During his meeting with the Philippine foreign minister, Russel however said he expressed his concern the "succession of controversial statements, comments and a real climate of uncertainty about the Philippines’ intentions has created consternation in a number of countries".

He added, "This is not a positive trend."Duterte has been scathing about U.S. criticism of his anti-drugs campaign in which about 2,300 people have been killed since he took office on June 30.

Russel said the United States supported Manila's anti-narcotics campaign, but due process and human rights should not be disregarded."The growing uncertainty about this and other issues is bad for business," he said. "This is a very competitive region."Russel's trip to Manila is part of a three-nation swing through Southeast Asia that also includes Thailand and Cambodia, the U.S. State Department announced on its website. (Reporting by Manuel Mogato and Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

Earthquake: Strong quakes of magnitude 6.1 and 6.2 rock Hawaii
World

Earthquake: Strong quakes of magnitude 6.1 and 6.2 rock Hawaii

The US Geological Survey says the first quake struck about 17 miles south of Naalehu and the second earthquake struck about 20 minutes later in the same area

UK Conservative MP David Amess dies after being stabbed multiple times at constituency meet
World

UK Conservative MP David Amess dies after being stabbed multiple times at constituency meet

Amess was holding a his regular weekly meeting with constituents at the Belfairs Methodist Church, in the small town of Leigh-on-Sea when he was stabbed

'Idea of wall is an illusion': Top cybersecurity expert on China's digital army and battleground of future
India

'Idea of wall is an illusion': Top cybersecurity expert on China's digital army and battleground of future

CNN-News18's Shreya Dhoundial speaks to top cybersecurity expert and Recorded Future CEO Christopher Ahlberg on China's digital army and what India needs to watch out for