President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday called on US President Donald Trump and other concerned parties to exercise self-restraint to de-escalate tension after North Korea’s reported nuclear tests and missile launches.
In a news conference, Duterte said the countries of Southeast Asia were extremely worried and that he would ask Trump “not to go into war.”
“It behooves upon America, as I said, because it is a more responsible country. I’m sure President Trump by now is also cautioning his military to, just maybe, to hang on there and not to start something which they cannot control,” Duterte told reporters covering the 30th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Manila.
“So I’m expecting a call actually from President Trump tonight, and who am I to say that you should stop, but I would say, Mr. President, please see to it there is no war, because my region will suffer immensely the first,” he added.
Trump was expected to call Duterte on Saturday night after the Asean summit gala dinner. Duterte did not give other details about the call.
The US is a dialogue partner of the Asean, and is the oldest and most powerful ally of the Philippines. The Philippines is one of only two treaty allies of the US in Southeast Asia.