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Modi-Trump Meeting in Manila to Discuss Bilateral Issues

Narendra Modi is in Manila to attend the ASEAN and East Asia summits.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi met U.S. President Donald Trump on Nov. 12 in Manila, Philippines, where the two leaders have gathered with other world state heads for the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia summits. He will be meeting Trump again on Nov. 13 for a bilateral meeting in Manila Bay.

Modi is scheduled to meet Trump and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on the same day, apart from addressing the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and attending a community reception. The Indian prime minister is scheduled to hold meetings with leaders of Japan and Australia, who are part to the proposed quadrilateral “Indo-Pacific” partnership. Modi’s Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had presented the strategy to Trump to counter China with the formation of an alliance between their countries, and Australia and India.

Modi will meet Abe and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during his three-day visit to Manila. He also met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Malaysian Prime minister M Najib Razak, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the summit. He is the first Indian prime minister to visit Manila in 36 years, after Indira Gandhi.

The world leaders, including Trump, Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wore the traditional Philippine embroidered shirt Barong Tagalog on Nov. 12 for a gala dinner.

Unlike Modi’s usual bear hug, he and Trump shared a half-hug and the Trump staple — a strong handshake.

“A lot has happened between the Prime Minister’s trip to the White House and now. The South Asia strategy, which was announced in August, has laid out certain red lines for Pakistan. We will be interested to know about Trump’s perception of what Pakistan is doing on taking action against terrorist groups and individuals,” the Indian Express quoted official sources as saying.

“Trump’s assessment of China under Xi, in his second term, will be key to understand how the relationship between Washington and Beijing is going to evolve. The fact that he chose to go there, right after the 19th Congress of the Communist Party, signals the importance he attaches to the relationship.”

Indian officials also discussed with their counterparts from Japan, Australia and America that a “free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large,” according to the report.

China had reacted to the catchphrase “Indo-Pacific” used by Trump repeatedly, and said that the quadrilateral alliance won’t hinder their economic activities in the region. India has been especially incensed at China’s One Belt One Road initiative in Pakistan.

Modi also interacted with scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and inaugurated the Rice Field Laboratory at Manila. He also visited the Mahavir Philippines Foundation Inc (MPFI).

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