US to seek explanation of Duterte's comment on Philippines' 'separation' from Washington

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing, Oct 20, 2016.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing, Oct 20, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States will seek an explanation from the Philippines for President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement of a "separation" from Washington, the State Department said on Thursday (Oct 20), calling the remarks baffling and at odds with the two countries' close relationship.

Duterte said during a visit to China on Thursday that"America has lost" in military and economic ties with the Philippines and "I announce my separation from the United States."

"We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the President meant when he talked about separation from the US," said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

 

"It's not clear to us exactly what that means in all its ramifications."

(This is a developing story)