India, Philippines ink four pacts, resolve to fight terrorism

RSTV Bureau

India and Philippines inked four pacts to boost bilateral cooperation on Monday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Rodrigo Duterte. The pacts provided for cooperation in a number of areas, including the defence and security.

Identifying terrorism as a major threat facing the two countries and the region, the two leaders also resolved to expand bilateral cooperation to effectively deal with the challenge.

“Both the leaders said scourge of terrorism has to be dealt with effectively. It is a very important outcome,” Secretary (East) in the Exernal Affairs Ministry Preeti Saran told reporters.

Modi’s bilateral visit to the Philippines is a first by an Indian Prime Minister in 36 years. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister had visited the country during his tenure, but only for multilateral meetings.

Saran said the pact on defence cooperation was a significant outcome and it would boost cooperation in various spheres including in the areas of logistics.

The other pacts will facilitate deeper cooperation in areas of agriculture and micro and small industries.

Saran said the Filipino President pitched for a “robust” relationship with India and particularly sought greater Indian investment in the pharmaceutical sector.

He also sought investment by Indian companies in the infrastructure sector of the Philippines.