Duterte: PH, U.S. meet mutually agreed to be moved to later date

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(File photos) United States President Barack Obama (L), Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — After a bilateral meeting between leaders of the Philippines and the United States was cancelled, President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday the two countries "agreed upon" moving the meeting "to a later date."

In a statement released by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Duterte said he "regrets" that his "strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress" came out as a "personal attack" on U.S. President Barack Obama.

"We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions, and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries," Duterte said.

Duterte added the Philippines wants to chart an independent foreign policy "while promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the US with which we have had a long standing relationship."

Obama cancelled Tuesday what could have been his first meeting with Duterte. Duterte criticized Obama in the wake of reports Washington wanted to discuss human rights violations in the country.

Duterte and Obama were scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane, Laos. The regional conference is Duterte's first international engagement as head of state.

The White House said Obama will instead meet with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea. No reason was given for the cancellation.

"President Obama will not be holding a bilateral meeting with President Duterte of the Philippines this afternoon. Instead, he will meet with President Park of the Republic of Korea this afternoon, September 6th. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of this meeting," said National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price in a statement.

However, there is a chance the two leaders could still engage each other, such as in a quick, pull-aside one-on-one conversation that could happen during 4th ASEAN-US Summit scheduled for Thursday.

Duterte arrived in Laos past 7 p.m. Monday (ICT) (8:00 p.m. PHT). From the Wattaya International Airport where his chartered Philippine Airlines plane landed from Davao City, the president went straight to a gathering of the Filipino community in Laos

Speaking at a news conference at the end of the G20 Summit in China before flying to Laos, Obama said he wants his meetings to be productive. Describing Duterte as a "colorful guy," the U.S. President added, "I'm going to make an assessment ... What is certainly true is that the issues of how we approach fighting crime and drug trafficking is a serious one for all of us, and we've got to do it the right way."

Obama then revealed he had asked his team to talk to their Philippine counterparts "to find out" if the scheduled meeting with the Philippine President is "a time where we can have constructive, productive conversations."

This comes after Duterte, in a press conference Monday before he left for the ASEAN Summit, warned Obama against raising the issue on summary killings in the Philippines' war on drugs during the ASEAN summit.

Duterte also called on Obama to first respond to human rights problems in the U.S.

"Alam mo there are columnists, they look upon Obama and the Unites States as if we are the lapdogs of this country. I do not respond to anybody but to the people of the Republic of the Philippines," Duterte said.

[Translation: "You know, there are columnists who look upon Obama and the United States as if we are the lapdogs of this country. I do not respnd to anybody but to the people of the Republic of the Philippines."]

"Ni hindi nga nya maubos-ubos 'yung sa Mexico border nya. Look at the human rights of America along that line, the way how they treat the migrants there," Duterte said.

[Translation: He can't even solve the problems in his Mexico border. Look at the human rights of America along that line, the way how they treat migrants there.]

Day 1: Three bilateral meetings

Duterte's debut in the global stage saw him having fruitful meetings with leaders of Singapore, Japan and Vietnam.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong discussed President Duterte's stance on the arbitral ruling on South China Sea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe teased President Duterte about being famous in Japan. They went on to reiterate their bilateral commitments, especially on trade and security.

Also, at the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summits, President Duterte was formally initiated as the most junior member in the emerging global powerhouse.

ASEAN also launches its campaign to celebrate its golden year in 2017, in which President Duterte will be named as chairman.

CNN Philippines Senior Correspondent David Santos, Senior Digital Producer Fiona Nicolas, and Digital Producer Arra Perez contributed to this report.