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Obama Cancels Meeting With Philippine President Duterte After Insults

Duterte's angry remarks came after the White House said Obama in his meeting with him would confront him about his country's human rights record

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The White House cancelled the meeting of the US President Barack Obama with his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte after the latter used obscene language against him.

"President Obama will not be holding a bilateral meeting with President Duterte of the Philippines this afternoon," said Ned Price spokesman of the National Security Council, White House.

"Instead, he will meet with President Park of the Republic of Korea this afternoon, September 6," Price said in a brief statement.

The White House decision in this regard came after the newly elected President of Philippines accused Obama and used an obscene language against him an unprecedented accusation against a US President.

"Who does he think he is? I am no American puppet. I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people," Duterte said in the Philippines on Monday.

"You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum," Duterte told a news conference shortly before flying to Laos to attend a summit.

"We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me."

His remarks came after the White House officials said Obama in his meeting with him in Laos on Tuesday would confront about his country's human rights record of handling drug traffickers.

Earlier in the day Obama indicated that his scheduled meeting with Duterte might not go forward.

Calling Duterte "a colourful guy", the US president said was asking his staff to find out whether a meeting would be useful.

"I always want to make sure if I'm having a meeting that it's productive and we're getting something done. If and when we have a meeting, this is something that is going to be brought up," Obama told reporters at a news conference in China.

The Philippine president later expressed regret.

Duterte said in a statement on Tuesday: "While the immediate cause was my strong comment to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US president."

(Agencies)