Barack Obama, Rodrigo Duterte meet informally after insults

Click to play video 'World leaders attend gala dinner at summit as Obama, Duterte meet informally' World leaders attend gala dinner at summit as Obama, Duterte meet informally
WATCH ABOVE: Eighteen leaders of the East Asia Summit donned traditional Laotian costume as they attended a gala dinner in Vientiane, Laos on Wednesday. Both U.S President Barack Obama and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte attended the event after U.S. officials canceled a meeting between the two. Duterte had been critical of the US which prompted a cancellation of their meeting. Philippine officials said the two leaders met informally – Sep 7, 2016

VIENTIANE, Laos – President Barack Obama and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met informally on Wednesday in a holding room before attending a gala dinner at a regional summit, Philippine officials said.

The brief meeting took a little sting out of the soured relations caused by Duterte’s intemperate language in referring to Obama earlier this week. That had caused Obama to cancel a formal meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

WATCH: Obama ‘doesn’t take Duterte’s comments personally’

Click to play video 'Obama ‘doesn’t take Duterte’s comments personally’' Obama ‘doesn’t take Duterte’s comments personally’
Obama ‘doesn’t take Duterte’s comments personally’ – Sep 8, 2016

Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told The Associated Press that the leaders had met.

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“They met at the holding room and they were the last persons to leave the holding room. I can’t say how long they met. It all springs from the fact the relationship between the Philippines and the United States is firm, very strong. The basis for this relationship is historical and both leaders realize this. And I’m very happy that it happened.”

Obama and Duterte are in the Laotian capital along with other regional leaders for the summit. All of them made their way through the holding room before heading to the banquet hall.

According to a White House official who would not be named discussing the private meeting: Obama had a brief discussion with Duterte before the ASEAN Gala Dinner in the leaders’ holding space. The exchange consisted of pleasantries between the two.

On Monday, hours before arriving in Laos, Duterte told Philippine reporters he wouldn’t accept questions from Obama about extrajudicial killings that have occurred during his crackdown on suspected drug dealers and users. More than 2,000 people have been killed in the crackdown since he took office on June 30.

“I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. Putang ina, I will swear at you in that forum,” Duterte said, using the Tagalog phrase for “son of a bitch.”

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On Tuesday, Duterte expressed regret over the remarks, but the damage was done.

A Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Charles Joe, also said Obama and Duterte met in the holding room. He said it was a mutually agreed meeting, but that he had no details of what was discussed.

Obama and Duterte entered the dinner venue separately, and were seated far apart and did not interact with each other during the dinner that lasted an hour and 20 minutes.