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10月25日のまにら新聞から

US says Duterte remarks causing”consternation” among allies

[ 526 words|2016.10.25|英字 (English) ]

The United States’ top diplomat for East Asia said Monday President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks against the United States are causing “consternation” in foreign governments and business.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, who is here with his defense counterpart Kelly Magsamen for talks with Philippine officials to clarify Duterte’s policy towards the US, said Duterte’s controversial statements have created “a real climate of uncertainty.”

“The succession of controversial statements, comments and a real climate of uncertainty about the Philippines’ intentions has created consternation in a number of countries not only in mine, not only in governments, but also a growing concern in other communities and the expat Filipino community, in corporate boardroom as well,” said Russel after meeting Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay for nearly an hour at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“This is not a positive trend,” Russel said.

Russel said his meeting with Yasay is “very constructive” and “productive”.

Russel said the US welcomes Manila's easing of ties with China, which was strained over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, “as long as they take place on terms that are acceptable to the Philippines and consistent with international law.”

The US, Russel said, has supported the Philippines’ anti-illegal drugs campaign, but stressed due process and human rights must be observed by local authorities.

“As I candidly shared with the Foreign Secretary, your friends are also concerned about the loss of life, in connection with the counter narcotics campaign,” Russel said. There are “ways the US can and does assist the Philippines in protecting your communities against the danger of illegal drugs that flow into your country from overseas.”

Russel said he told Yasay “the importance that we place and that others place on due process and respect for the rights of citizens as an important part of protecting communities as well.”

“And the growing uncertainty about this and other issues is bad for business as well. This is a very competitive region,” said Russel.

“Now, President Duterte himself has already walked back and explained that comment of about “separation” from the US. He described it as a reference to maintain an independent foreign policy. If separation means that the government in Manila makes its own foreign policy decisions based on its own assessment of the Philippine national interest, then there’s no need for a change,” Russel said.

“If it is the policy of the Philippines to honor its Constitution and to make its own decision on the basis of autonomy, independence and self-reliance - that’s consistent with the way the US and the Philippines have partnered as allies today.”

Before meeting Yasay, Russel said US Secretary of State John Kerry called the top Philippine diplomat, but did not reveal details.

The Philippines’ advantage as a close US partner with strong institutions and respect for the rule of law, Russel said, “has served it very well.”

“We think that is something that is worth protecting.”

Russel said the US remains a “steady and trusted partner, a strong ally” and that it stands ready to honor its commitments with the Philippines.

“We stand by international law and we stand by the Philippines,” Russel said. DMS