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India said today that it was open to working with like-minded countries on issues that advance its interests and promote Indian viewpoint, a day after Japan indicated that it would propose a top-level dialogue with the US, India and Australia. "We are not rigid in this regard," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said when asked about Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono's remarks to the Nikkei Business Daily that Japan would propose a dialogue with the US, India and Australia. Kumar also referred to various trilateral initiatives, India was participating in. "Because of our broad acceptability as a country, there are a number of such initiatives which are trilateral in nature. For example, we did the trilateral meeting with Russia and China on the topic of Asia Pacific last year.
We also do an India-Sri Lanka-Maldives trilateral on security matters," he said. Kumar also talked about the India-US-Japan trilateral which has been happening for many years and the recent India- Japan-Australia trilateral. The country is also part of India-Afghanistan-Iran trilateral and is looking to hold the India-US-Afghanistan meeting, he said, adding that all these meetings are conducted at various levels. "As far as we are concerned, we have an open mind to cooperate with countries with convergence but obviously on an agenda which is relevant to us," Kumar said. After her meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday had said the two sides have agreed to work together and with other partners to promote cooperation based on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel to the Philippines to attend the 31st ASEAN and East Asia summits on November 13 and November 14. He is expected to meet other leaders, including the US president.
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