Rodrigo Duterte June 2016
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New Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sought to defuse a row with the United States on Tuesday, voicing regret for calling President Barack Obama a 'son of a b----,' a comment that prompted Washington to call off a bilateral meeting. After Washington called off Tuesday's bilateral meeting between Obama and Duterte in response to his latest comment, the Philippines issued two statements expressing regret and also briefed reporters. 'President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would 'lecture' him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern,' the Philippines government said in a statement. 'He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy,' it added. 'He expressed his deep regard and affinity for President Obama and for the enduring partnership between our nations.'