Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop denies President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that they never discussed human rights during their March 17 meeting in Davao City.
Bishop released a statement to Fairfax Media that was published by The Sydney Morning Herald on March 20, saying that she talked about Australia’s concerns over the killings in the Philippines related to Duterte anti-drug campaign.
“During my conversation with President Duterte we discussed the country’s anti-drug campaign at length. I conveyed Australian and international concerns with respect to extrajudicial killings and spoke of the importance we attach to human rights and the rule-of-law,” she said.
This statement contradicts Duterte’s statement describing the meeting.
“They are so courteous. Maybe alam nila. Because if you say that, if you utter those things in my presence, you’ll get an insult. So what we did was to discuss transnational crimes, terrorism,” he said during the press briefing before he left for Myanmar on March 19.
“Nobody but nobody, not even the United States, ever, ever opened up the human rights in front of me,” he added.
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) March 19, 2017
In its article publishing Bishop’s statement about her meeting with Duterte, The Sydney Morning Herald noted how “very rare – almost unheard of” for a foreign minister in Australia to publicly contradict the leader of a neighboring country.
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