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Sunday, November 20, 2016, 18:24

Meeting Putin, Duterte rails at Western 'hypocrisy'

By Reuters
Meeting Putin, Duterte rails at Western 'hypocrisy'
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Lima, Peru, Nov 19, 2016. (Photo / AP)

MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Western "bullying" and "hypocrisy" during his first meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and said when it came to alliances, the United States could not be trusted.

And of late, I see a lot of these Western nations bullying small nations. And not only that, they are into so much hypocrisy

Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine President

In talks with Putin during an Asia-Pacific summit in Lima, Duterte held nothing back in his views about major powers like the US, suggesting he is sticking to his guns on re-aligning foreign policy away from Washington, despite his warm words for incoming US president, Donald Trump.

"Historically, I have been identified with the Western world. It was good until it lasted," he told the Russian leader.

"And of late, I see a lot of these Western nations bullying small nations. And not only that, they are into so much hypocrisy," he said, according to a transcript of Saturday's meeting provided by his office.

Putin congratulated Duterte on his May election win and said he had done a lot in a very short time to build trust and confidence between Russia and the Philippines.

Duterte responded with similar words and then chided Western powers, particularly the US, for intervening in conflicts for their own national interest and cajoling others to side with them.

The mercurial former mayor insists the shift is his pursuit of an independent foreign policy, but that has come with repeated threats and verbal tirades against the US, for decades a staunch ally, investor and donor.

Prior to leaving for Peru, Duterte said he might follow Russia and withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) because of Western criticism of his deadly war on drugs.

In his talk with Putin, Duterte blasted the US and its Western allies for taking the lead in wars he said had ultimately failed.

"They seem to start a war but are afraid to go to war. That is what's wrong with America and the other," he said.

"They were waging war in so many places, in Vietnam, in Afghanistan and in Iraq ... They insist if you are allied with them that they follow you."

Duterte has spoken of his admiration for Chinese President Xi Jinping and also for the leadership of Putin. In an interview with Al Jazeera broadcast on Thursday, he described Putin as sincere, and joked that he had a "hillbilly" style.

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