Reuters International

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a National Heroes Day commemoration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) in Taguig city, Metro Manila in the Philippines August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

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MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he was ready to discuss any issues with Barack Obama when they meet in Laos next week, but added that the U.S. president must listen to him first before bringing up the question of human rights.

Washington has expressed concern about a surge in drug-related killings since Duterte became president two months ago promising to wipe out narcotics in the Southeast Asian nation.

Asked if he would be willing to discuss human rights at his meeting with Obama on the sidelines of an East Asia summit on Sept. 6, Duterte told reporters: "Depends to what degree".

"They must understand the problem first before we talk about human rights. I would insist, listen to me: this is what the problem is, then we can talk."

(Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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