PM Modi holds bilateral talks with Donald Trump on the sidelines of ASEAN summit in Philippines
Manila: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second day in Manila was hectic, with a series of bilateral meetings that included one with US President Donald Trump and another with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, a meeting with business leaders and one with the expat Indians in the city. PM Modi and President Trump met on the sidelines of the ASEAN or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and discussed a range of issues including defence and security. The Prime Minister also held wide-ranging talks with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, after which the two nations inked four pacts providing for cooperation in a number of areas, including defence and security.
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PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump carried out a "broad review" of the strategic landscape in Asia, said foreign secretary S Jaishankar. The "very expansive" talks included security scenario in the region and ways to boost bilateral trade.
After the meeting at Sofitel Hotel, where President Trump is staying, PM Modi said India and US cooperation can go beyond bilaterals and the two nations "can work for the future of Asia and the world". President Trump described the Prime Minister as a "friend" who is "doing a great job".
The bilateral meeting with President Trump came a day after officials of India, the US, Japan and Australia held talks to give shape to the much talked about Quadrilateral alliance to keep the strategically important Indo-Pacific region free, open and inclusive.
The US has been pitching for greater Indo-US cooperation in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region where China has been ramping up its military presence.
Later in the day, addressing the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, PM Modi said the task of transforming India is proceeding on an "unprecedented scale". The country's economy, he said, is now "globally integrated" and more than 90 per cent FDI sectors are on automatic approval route.
He also said the largest Asean-India business and investment summit till date will be held in New Delhi in January next year. A conference to discuss increasing connectivity between both regions is also due in New Delhi next month.
To the Indian community in Manila, PM Modi said India has always contributed to world peace its contingent in the UN Peacekeeping Forces is among the biggest. "India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi, peace is integral to our culture... We are people who give to the world -- not ones who take from it and never ones to snatch," the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister, who reached Manila yesterday for the three-day summit, is expected to hold another series of other bilaterals, including with the other leaders of the Quadrilateral alliance, on Tuesday.
The summit is expected to focus on China's aggressive military manoeuvres in the disputed South China Sea, North Korea's nuclear missile tests and the overall security architecture in the region.
Trade between India and ASEAN stood at $65.04 billion in 2015-16 and comprises 10.12 per cent of India's total trade with the world. Together, the nations are home to 1.85 billion people - a quarter of the global population.