Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for the Philippines today, where he will participate in various bilateral and multilateral programmes, including the India- ASEAN Summit. During his visit, the PM Modi and the US President Donald Trump are likely to have a 45-minute bilateral meeting on Monday. This will be the first meeting between the two leaders following a proposal to have a quadrilateral alliance among India, the US, Japan, and Australia, according to a report by The Indian Express. Japan last month had indicated that it would propose a top-level dialogue with the US, India and Australia. During this meet, PM Modi and Trump are likely to discuss a host of key issues of mutual interest including the security scenario in the region.
Besides Trump, PM Modi is also scheduled to have bilateral meetings with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Tuesday, The Indian Express reported. Trump is also scheduled to arrive tomorrow as part of his five-nation Asia tour of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The Prime Minister is likely to arrive in the capital of Philippines around 5 pm (2:30 pm IST) and then will head for a “special gala celebration” of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN at the SMX Convention Centre which will be hosted by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. The Prime Minister is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Duterte on Monday evening on the sidelines of ASEAN summit.
“My participation in them symbolises India’s commitment to continue deepening relationship with ASEAN Member States, in particular, and with the Indo-Pacific region, in general, within the framework of my Government’s Act East Policy,” the prime minister had said in a statement yesterday. He said he was also looking towards connecting with the Indian community in the Philippines. The 10-member grouping ASEAN and India comprise a total population of 1.85 billion people which is one-fourth of the global population. The combined GDP has been estimated at over 3.8 trillion dollars.