MANILA, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that he is ready to explain to his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama his campaign on illegal drugs during their scheduled bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to be held early in September in Laos.
Duterte said he is open to discuss with Obama any topics during their first bilateral meeting.
Asked if he is willing to discuss the human rights issue if this is raised by the U.S. president, Duterte said "It depends to what degree because they must understand the problem first before we talk about human rights."
"I would insist 'listen to me. This is what the problem is.' Then we can talk. No problem," he said.
The United States has raised concern over the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines involving drug suspects. Duterte reacted by reminding the United States of the killing of African Americans by U.S. law enforcers.
Over 2,000 drug suspects have already been killed in the all-out war against illegal drugs that Duterte declared. Most of those killed were outside the police operations or allegedly done by "vigilantes."
Duterte's attendance at the ASEAN summit on Sept. 6-8 will be his first since he assumed office on June 30.