WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will seek an explanation from the Philippines for President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of a “separation” from Washington, the State Department said on Thursday, calling the remarks baffling and at odds with the two countries’ close relationship.
Duterte said during a visit to China on Thursday that “America has lost” in military and economic ties with the Philippines and “I announce my separation from the United States.”
“We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the president meant when he talked about separation from the U.S.,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby. “It’s not clear to us exactly what that means in all its ramifications.”
Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and David Alexander; Editing by Doina Chiacu