Modi meets Trump in Manila, discusses trade and security

RSTV Bureau
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of ASEAN summit in Manila on November 13, 2017.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of ASEAN summit in Manila on November 13, 2017.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump held a bilateral meeting on Monday morning in Manila on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit.

The two leaders discussed a range of key issues including defence, security and bilateral trade.

Ahead of the meeting, PM Modi praised the growing Indo-US ties.

“The relations between India and the US are growing…and I also feel that the relationship between India and the US is not only for mutual interest. It goes beyond that. We are working together for the interest, for the future of Asia and for the humanity as a whole in the world,” Modi said.

Prime Minister Modi is said to have described Trump as a “friend” who was “doing a great job”

Trump on his part described Modi as a friend and a great gentleman.

“PM Narendra Modi is here we had met at the White House before. He has become a friend of ours. He’s doing a great job. A lot of things were solved and we will continue to work together,” Trump said.

The meeting between Trump and Modi came just a day after officials of India, 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 move to set up the quadrilateral alliance comes in the backdrop of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.

The US has been favouring a larger role for India in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region.

The use of the term “Indo-Pacific” by President Trump has led to speculation that it may have something to do with Washington preparing the ground for a revival of the so called quadrilateral strategic alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India to counter China’s rise.

On Saturday Trump had praised India’s “astounding” growth. He had also lauded Prime Minister Modi for successfully keeping the vast country and its people together. Speaking at a gathering of CEOs on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang, President Trump had cited India as one of the countries in the Indo-Pacific region making strides.

Last month Japan had indicated that it would propose a top-level dialogue with the US, India and Australia. Sources had said officials of the four countries may meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit.

Reacting to the Japanese move, India had said that it was open to working with like-minded countries on issues that advance its interests. The US had also said it was looking at a “working-level” quadrilateral meeting in the near term with India, Japan and Australia.

(With inputs from agencies)