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Narendra Modi in Manila, meets Trump

Narendra Modi in Manila, meets Trump
Highlights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Sunday on a three-day visit to attend the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits where he is likely to...

ASEAN SUMMIT from TOMORROW

Manila: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Sunday on a three-day visit to attend the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits where he is likely to reassert India's push for crafting a global approach to deal with growing challenge of terrorism and radicalisation besides pitching for steps to boost regional trade.

Soon after his arrival in the Filipino capital, Modi informally met many foreign leaders, including US President Donald Trump, with whom the Prime Minister is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting on Monday.

In photos tweeted out by the PM's personal handle, Modi could be seen warmly greeting President Trump as they two shared a half-hug and chatted with each other. Modi was also seen interacting with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who will also hold a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister. This is PM Modi's first visit to the Philippines since become Prime Minister.

The thorny issue of China's aggressive military maneuver in the disputed South China Sea, North Korea's nuclear missile tests and overall security architecture in the region will come up for discussion during the ASEAN summit on Tuesday, diplomats said.

On the sidelines of the main events, Prime Minister Modi is likely to have a series of bilateral meetings with a number of leaders, including US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev.

A host of leaders, including Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, have already arrived in the city to attend deliberations at the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nations), a grouping of 10 influential countries.

The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing in the last few years with focus being on ramping up cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence. "Every single country in the ASEAN region wants India to be more engaged in the region in every possible way.

That is the real synergy we have with ASEAN," Indian Ambassador to Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar said. The US, France and Japan have been pitching for a larger role by India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region where China has been trying to increase its military presence.

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