October 4, 2016 / 5:36 PM / 10 months ago

White House says no communications from Philippines on changes

2 Min Read

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The rhetoric from Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte is at odds with the two countries' warm relationship and the United States has not received any communications from his government about changing that relationship, the White House said on Tuesday.

"The diplomatic lines of communication between the United States and the Philippines remain open," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, noting joint military exercises that began on Tuesday. "We have not yet received any sort of formal communication using those channels from the Filipino government about making substantial changes to our bilateral relationship."

Duterte on Tuesday told U.S. President Barack Obama to "go to hell" and said the United States had refused to sell some weapons to his country but he did not care because Russia and China were willing suppliers.

Duterte said he was realigning his foreign policy because the United States had failed the Philippines and added that at some point, "I will break up with America". It was not clear what he meant by "break up".

Reporting by Tim Gardner and Eric Walsh; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by James Dalgleish

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