(By Sun Star Manila | 20 Nov 2016)
President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the
Apec forum in Lima, Peru (AP)
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte did not hide his admiration to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Lima, Peru.
For the first time, Duterte met face to face with Putin at the Swissotel Hotel Sunday.
"I have been looking for this moment to meet you, Mr. President, not only because you represent a great country but of your leadership too," he said.
Earlier, Duterte said he wanted to make friends with Putin.
Duterte told the Russian leader that despite the distance, the Philippines has "been longing" to be part of Europe, especially in commerce and trade.
But the Cold War and the Philippine identification with the Western world "stood before" the relationship of the two countries, he said.
"It was good until it lasted. And of late, I see a lot of these Western nations bullying small nations. And not only that they are into so much hypocrisy," Duterte said.
He again criticized the US for waging war in many countries, such as Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. "And for one single reason, that there was a weapon of mass destruction, and there was none," he said.
For his part, Putin said it was his pleasure to meet Duterte as he congratulated the Philippine leader on his election.
"Well, you have been able to do a lot in a short period of time in terms of developing the all round partnership between our countries and with respect to promoting greater trust and confidence between us. And it is my pleasure to have a chance to speak to you and your colleagues about developing our bilaterals," he said.
Putin said Russia and the Philippines mark this year the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
He extended his invitation to Duterte to visit Russia to signal the opening of more agreements between the two countries. (SDR/Sunnex)