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Trump heaps praise on Duterte: I look forward to meeting him

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United States President Donald Trump was profuse with praises for President Rodrigo Duterte despite concerns in Washington about his invitation for the Philippine head of state to visit the White House.

In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, Trump expressed admiration for Duterte for taking a “tough” stance on the illegal drug menace.

“He’s been very, very tough on that drug problem, but he has a massive drug problem,” Trump said.

The US President said he is eager to meet his counterpart from the Philippines.

“I look forward to meeting him. If he comes to the White House that’s fine,” he said.

Trump added that the Philippines is “very important” to him “strategically and militarily.”

The US President invited Duterte to visit the White House in a phone conversation last April 29, shocking critics and allies alike.

Duterte, however, said he cannot yet say if he will be able to accept Trump’s invitation because his schedule for this year is full.