Modi pitches for rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture

Delhi, Manila Iden­tify Ter­ror As Ma­jor Chal­lenge, Sign 4 Pacts

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: In­dia and the Philip­pines found com­mon cause in is­sues re­lat­ing to se­cu­rity and com­merce in the Indo-Pa­cific as well as ter­ror­ism as PM Naren­dra Modi met Philip­pines Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte at a time when the is­land na­tion has emerged from a pitched bat­tle against Is­lamic State-af­fil­i­ated groups.

The two coun­tries signed four agree­ments as Modi and Duterte held their first bi­lat­eral sum­mit in Manila on the side­lines of the Asean sum­mit and the PM strongly pitched for a rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture, re­flect­ing a grow­ing con­ver­gence among In­dia, the US and Ja­pan over the need to deal with China’s in­tent to dom­i­nate the re­gion.

At the Asean-In­dia Sum­mit, Modi iden­ti­fied ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism as the ma­jor chal­lenges fac­ing the re­gion and said it was time to deal with it col­lec­tively. “In­dia as­sures the Asean of its steady sup­port to­wards achiev­ing a rules- based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture that best at­tests to the re­gion’s in­ter­ests and its peace­ful de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

Modi and Duterte re­solved to ex­pand bi­lat­eral ties. “Both lead­ers said the scourge of ter­ror­ism has to be dealt with ef­fec­tively,” sec­re­tary (east) in the MEA, Preeti Saran, told re­porters. The de­fence agree­ments are mainly in lo­gis­tics.

“Had a pro­duc­tive meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. We had ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sions on en­hanc­ing In­dia-Philip­pines bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion es­pe­cially in trade, busi­ness and cul­ture,” Modi tweeted af­ter the first visit by an In­dian PM to Philip­pines in 36 years.

Modi also had bi­lat­eral meet­ings with Ja­panese PM Shinzo Abe, New Zealand PM Jacin- da Ardern, Aus­tralian PM Mal­colm Turn­bull and oth­ers.

Push­ing for greater trade link­ages, Modi said, “Mar­itime links es­tab­lished thou­sands of years ago be­tween In­dia and Asean coun­tries have en­abled our trade re­la­tions in the past and we have to work closely to strengthen them.” All the 10 Asean lead­ers will be chief guests at the 2018 Repub­lic Day cel­e­bra­tions.

“The be­fit­ting theme of ‘Shared Val­ues, Com­mon Destiny’ for our 25th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions has been jointly cel­e­brated... I look for­ward to a be­fit­ting cul­mi­na­tion of the com­mem­o­ra­tive year and re­ceiv­ing you at the In­dia-Asean Special Com­mem­o­ra­tive Sum­mit on Jan­uary 25 in New Delhi,” Modi said.

PTI

PM Naren­dra Modi with his New Zealand coun­ter­part Jacinda Ardern in Manila on Tues­day

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