Friday, 15 February, 2019

Modi, Trump meeting likely on sidelines of Manila ASEAN event

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte performs the hit Philippine song Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte performs the hit Philippine song"Ikaw with pop singer Pilita Corrales
Melinda Barton | 13 November, 2017, 04:21

Officials of India, US, Japan and Australia met in Manila on Sunday for exploratory talks on a possible security architecture for the Indo-Pacific region against the backdrop of an aggressively rising China, as Prime minister Narendra Modi arrived in the Philippines capital for meetings with the leaders of Southeast Asian nations and others in the region.

Ahead of his departure Prime Minister Modi in a statement emphasised the importance of India's foreign policy of "act east policy".

On the occasion, the Vietnamese leader will join the ninth Mekong-Japan Summit and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Leaders' Meeting. These meetings could see further discussions on the "quadrilateral arrangement", one of the officials cited above said.

Trump on Friday praised India's "astounding" growth after it opened up its economy and also lauded Modi, saying he has been working successfully to bring the vast country and its people together.

Moon's trip here followed his visit to Vietnam for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit where he stressed the need to maintain maximum pressure on Pyongyang but resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff peacefully in the end. "PM Narendra Modi departs for Philippines to attend the @ASEAN and East Asia Summits in Manila", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

He praised India as a sovereign democracy with a population of over 1 billion as well as the largest democracy in the world. "This will be the first Research Centre by IRRI outside its headquarters in the Philippines", Modi said.

Aside from the Philippines, three other ASEAN member states, namely Brunei, Vietnam, and Malaysia, have overlapping claims to the sea with China.

And those 13 countries will be joined by an additional five nations - Australia, India, New Zealand, Russia and the United States - for the East Asia Summit.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc arrived in Manila, the Philippines on Sunday to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit and related meetings from November 12-14 which are set to focus on orientations and measures for enhancing connectivity to realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

He will also interact with the Indian community in the Philippines at a reception hosted by the Indian envoy.