Trump invites Thai, Philippine, Singapore leaders to White House

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US President Donald Trump in calls with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on April 30 invited all three leaders to visit the White House. The phone conversations are believed to have tested the waters for closer regional alliances as Washington takes an increasingly hard-line stance towards North Korea’s nuclear programme.

Both Prayut and Lee accepted the invitation while Duterte said he has yet to make a confirmation because he is tied up with other commitments.

While Singapore has always been a staunch ally of the US, the governments of Thailand and the Philippines had cooperative but strained relationships with Washington before Trump took office. Neither leaders were offered official White House visits during Barack Obama’s tenure as president. Obama cancelled a meeting with Duterte after the Filipino strongman in a speech referred to him as a “son of a whore”.

In Trump’s phone call with Prayuth, both leaders reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to one another and underscored their mutual desire for “peace and stability in the the Asia-Pacific region”, according to a statement from the White House.

Prayuth expressed support for “Washington’s constructive role” in the region during his conversation with the US president, deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said, adding that the offer to visit had been reciprocated by Bangkok.

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US President Donald Trump in calls with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on April 30 invited all three leaders to visit the White House. The phone conversations are believed to have tested the waters for closer regional alliances as Washington takes an increasingly hard-line stance towards North Korea’s nuclear programme. Both Prayut and Lee accepted the invitation while Duterte said he has yet to make a confirmation because he is tied up with other commitments. While Singapore has always been a staunch ally of the US, the governments of...

Reading Time: 1 minute

US President Donald Trump in calls with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on April 30 invited all three leaders to visit the White House. The phone conversations are believed to have tested the waters for closer regional alliances as Washington takes an increasingly hard-line stance towards North Korea’s nuclear programme.

Both Prayut and Lee accepted the invitation while Duterte said he has yet to make a confirmation because he is tied up with other commitments.

While Singapore has always been a staunch ally of the US, the governments of Thailand and the Philippines had cooperative but strained relationships with Washington before Trump took office. Neither leaders were offered official White House visits during Barack Obama’s tenure as president. Obama cancelled a meeting with Duterte after the Filipino strongman in a speech referred to him as a “son of a whore”.

In Trump’s phone call with Prayuth, both leaders reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to one another and underscored their mutual desire for “peace and stability in the the Asia-Pacific region”, according to a statement from the White House.

Prayuth expressed support for “Washington’s constructive role” in the region during his conversation with the US president, deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said, adding that the offer to visit had been reciprocated by Bangkok.

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