Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the opening ceremony of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines, 29 April 2017. REUTERS/Mark Crisanto/Pool - RTS14FAC
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the opening ceremony of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines, 29 April 2017. REUTERS/Mark Crisanto/Pool - RTS14FAC

US President Donald Trump invited his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte to visit Washington, during what the White House described as a “very friendly conversation” on Saturday.

The amicable exchange represents a dramatic shift from the insults hurled at former president Barack Obama by Duterte, which included calling him a “son of a bitch” and suggesting he can “go to hell.” The insults came along with threats that the Philippines, a long-time US ally, might as well “break up with” the US.

The cooling of US-Philippines ties stemmed most visibly from the Obama administration’s condemnation of Duterte’s brutal drug war, which President Trump praised during a previous phone call with Duterte.