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Kerry speaks to Philippines counterpart after separation comment by Duterte
[WASHINGTON] US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his Philippines counterpart over the weekend, emphasising strong and stable ties between the allies after comments by the Philippines president raised questions about bilateral relations, the State Department said on Monday.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said Mr Kerry expressed concern about the tone of remarks by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has sharply criticised President Barack Obama and talked about a separation from the United States.
Mr Kirby said the phone call on Sunday led Mr Kerry to feel the United States and the Philippines "can work through this".
He said Washington has seen no practical action by Manila to move away from ties with the United States.