President Donald Trump invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House to discuss the relationship between their two countries following a conversation between the two leaders over the weekend.
Trump and Duterte had a "very friendly" conversation Saturday, according to the White House, where they discussed a range of topics including the Philippine's regional security in light of the missile tests launched by North Korea and Duterte's controversial war on drugs.
"They also discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world," the White House said in a statement.
Duterte’s fight against drugs in his country, which has resulted in the death of thousands of people, has drawn global criticism. Last month,
Human Rights Watch estimated that police officers and "unidentified vigilantes" have killed over 7,000 suspected drug dealers and drug users in the country, often in impoverished and urban areas. "Duterte’s outspoken endorsement of the campaign implicates him and other senior officials in possible incitement to violence, instigation of murder, and in command responsibility for crimes against humanity," Human Rights Watch wrote in its March report.