During a phone conversation, Tuesday night, incoming president Rodrigo Duterte told United States President Barack Obama that his administration might go for bilateral negotiation with China to try to solve the West Philippine Sea dispute.
“I assured him that we will continue with our mutual interests and that we are allied with the Western in this issue on China Sea. But I gave him an inkling that, well, I would agree to just go with you,” Duterte told reporters after the phone conversation.
Duterte said Obama urged him to wait for the result of arbitration initiated by the Aquino administration.
“But if it goes on still waters, I said, there’s no wind to move the sail, I might opt to go bilateral,” he said.
Obama called to congratulate Duterte for winning the recent presidential elections.
In their phone conversation Obama highlighted the enduring values that underpin US’ thriving alliance with the Philippines and the longstanding ties between our two peoples, including our shared commitments to democracy, human rights, rule of law, and inclusive economic growth, the White House said.
“The two leaders affirmed their interest in seeing the relationship continue to grow on the basis of these shared principles,” the White House added.
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