- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2016

President Obama and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sat near each other at a dinner of world leaders Wednesday night but didn’t interact, in the wake of Mr. Duterte calling Mr. Obama a “son of a bitch.”

Mr. Obama was six seats away from Mr. Duterte at the dinner of the Asian summit in Vientiane, Laos. The Philippine leader sat next to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and they appeared to be enjoying each others’ company, clinking their glasses of red wine several times, reporters said.

“They seemed to be hitting it off,” according to a pool reporter traveling with Mr. Obama. “Medvedev was laughing at things Duterte said.”

Earlier, Mr. Duterte, Mr. Obama and other world leaders at the summit posed for a “family photo.” Mr. Obama and Mr. Duterte stood far apart from each other for the official photograph of the summit.

The Associated Press reported that Mr. Obama and Mr. Duterte did meet “informally” on the sidelines of the summit. The White House did not immediately confirm the report.



Mr. Obama canceled a meeting with the new Philippine leader Tuesday after Mr. Duterte referred to him as a “son of a bitch.” Mr. Duterte was reacting to reports that Mr. Obama intended to confront him about the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers in the Philippines.

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