Philippines' Duterte asks Putin for arms support

Updated 2017-05-24 14:30:28 Xinhua

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for arms to fight Islamic militants in the Asian country.

"Our country needs modern weapons to fight against ISIS. We had certain orders in the U.S., however, the situation is not very good now. I came to Moscow to ask for your help and support," the Kremlin quoted Duterte as telling Putin in a meeting on Tuesday.

Duterte stressed that Russia is a reliable partner, and he offered to continue their friendship.

"We need to improve trade exchange between the two countries," the Philippine leader said.

Putin noted that Moscow and Manila have many bilateral projects, including power engineering, defense cooperation, and transport infrastructure.

Duterte arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for a four-day official visit, but was forced to cut short his trip as fighting broke out in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.

Putin said he hoped the conflict in the Philippines would be resolved "with minimum losses."

Duterte's delegation remained in Moscow to sign bilateral agreements on Wednesday, Russian media reported.

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