John Kerry speaks to Philippines counterpart after separation comment by Duterte

US State Secretary John Kerry gestures after delivering a speech at The German Marshall Fund in Brussels, on Oct 4, 2016.
US State Secretary John Kerry gestures after delivering a speech at The German Marshall Fund in Brussels, on Oct 4, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his Philippines counterpart over the weekend, emphasising strong and stable ties between the allies after comments by the Philippines president raised questions about bilateral relations, the State Department said on Monday (Oct 24).

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry expressed concern about the tone of remarks by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has sharply criticiz\sed President Barack Obama and talked about a separation from the United States.

Kirby said the phone call on Sunday 9Oct 23) led Kerry to feel the United States and the Philippines "can work through this."

 

He said Washington has seen no practical action by Manila to move away from ties with the United States.