MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders in Manila (all times local):
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte suggested Saturday to his American counterpart to back out from an intensifying standoff with North Korea not in surrender but to avoid risking a nuclear "holocaust" that could affect Asia immensely.
Duterte said in a news conference after hosting an annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders in Manila that he would ask President Donald Trump, who he said he was expecting to call him later Saturday "to see to it that there is no war because my region will suffer immensely."
The Philippine leader did not explain why Trump planned to call him.
Duterte said: "It would be good for America to just restrain a little bit and if I were President Trump, I'll just back out, not really in surrender and retreat, but just to let the guy realize that, 'ah, please do not do it.'"
He said says that as the global power and more responsible nation, the U.S. should be prudent and not play into the provocations of North Korea's leader. He said: "It behooves upon America, who wields the biggest stick, just to really be prudent and patient. We know that we are playing with somebody who relishes letting go of his missiles and everything."
Alarm over North Korea's nuclear ambitions and intensifying standoff with the Trump administration was high on the agenda of the ASEAN summit.
Southeast Asian leaders sat down with regional lawmakers for talks that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says reflect the commitment of member states to building the ASEAN community.
Duterte says the ASEAN lnter-Parliamentary Assembly "plays an integral role in ensuring that the regional agreements are carried out and implemented at the national level so that the benefits of integration are felt by our people in the region."
Duterte made the comments during an opening statement before the meeting was closed to the media.
He said leaders are interested in hearing the lawmakers' views on a number of issues integral to efforts in realizing a fully integrated community.
Southeast Asian leaders have concluded their closed-door retreat in Manila's ornate Coconut Palace and have started a meeting with lawmakers from the region.
Known to abhor formalities, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had rolled up the sleeves of his formal barong shirt as he led his ASEAN peers at the gathering.
Before their lunch, the 10 leaders posed for their traditional linked-arms photo in front of the palace, which used to house the office of the vice president.
In a speech earlier in the day at the summit opening, Duterte made an oblique swipe at Western governments, asking them not to meddle in the affairs of regional countries.