MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte has accepted an invitation to visit Israel next month in a sign of improving ties, which had hit a sore spot early in his presidency when he compared his bloody anti-drug crackdown to Hitler and the Holocaust.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday that Duterte will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his Sept. 2-5 visit to discuss cooperation in labor, tourism, trade, agriculture, counterterrorism and law enforcement.
The department says it will be the first visit by a Philippine president since diplomatic ties were established in 1957.
Duterte drew outrage in 2016 when he compared his anti-drug campaign to Hitler and the Holocaust and said he would be "happy to slaughter" 3 million addicts. He later apologized.