United States President, Barack Obama, has cancelled a meeting with controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who had earlier called him a “son of a whore.”
Mr. Duterte was responding to the U.S president’s promise to raise the issue of drug-related extra-judicial killings in the Philippines at their meeting.
The Filipino leader is known for his colourful language, though this time it has had a diplomatic impact, the BBC reports.
Mr. Duterte has now said he regrets the remark.
“While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret that it came across as a personal attack on the U.S president,” the BBC quoted the Filipino leader’s office as saying in a statement.
Both Presidents are among leaders gathering for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Laos.
Mr. Duterte has been forced to apologise for offensive comments before, but this is the first time he has had to confront the reality of his outlandish behaviour on the international stage
It is the President’s first overseas trip – an opportunity that many leaders would have used to cement ties with neighbouring countries and superpowers like China and the U.S.
Instead Mr. Duterte has had to spend his first day here saying “Sorry” on a global platform.