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India holds first 'quad' meet with US, Japan, Australia

PM slated to meet Trump on Monday

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

Modi holds first 'quad' meet with US, Japan, Australia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Japanese Prime Shinzo Abe (centre) and US President Donald Trump at the Asean Summit dinner in Manila on Sunday. Photo: PTI

Giving shape to their security cooperation under the proposed quadrilateral coalition, India, the US, and on Sunday held their first official talks here with a focus on keeping the Indo-Pacific region “free and open”, seen as a move to counter China’s aggressive behaviour in the area.
 
Soon after the meeting, India, and issued separate statements listing the Indo-Pacific as the major area of the deliberations and resolved to expand cooperation to uphold a rules-based order and respect for international law in the strategically important region. The meeting comes ahead of the Asean summit here on Tuesday which is also likely to discuss the security challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region and China's military expansion in the Sea. According to a press statement, officials of the four countries at the “quad” meeting agreed 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.

Prime Minister landed in the on Sunday to attend the Asean-and East Asia summits. Before arriving in Manila, President said in Hanoi on Sunday that he would be willing to mediate between and five of its neighbours to resolve their competing claims in the Sea. The PM and other leaders attended the customary dinner on the eve of the summit. is slated to have bilateral meetings with Trump and President of the on Monday.

On Sunday, held separate pull-aside meetings with Trump and on the sidelines of a gala dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the Asean. was also seen chit-chatting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The prime minister as well as all other leaders wore Barong Tagalong, an embroidered shirt which is the national dress of the
 
Last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and subsequently Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has favoured expanding the India-Japan-trilateral to include According to sources, the Chinese build-up in the Sea figured in the meeting. Tillerson had stressed upon the desire to have play a bigger role in the Asia Pacific region, and noted how doesn't always conform to international laws. Beijing had later said it hoped the quad doesn't target its interests.  In an article published in leading newspapers in the on Sunday, said Beijing wanted to bilaterally resolve its disputes with its neighbours over the Sea.

Apart from Trump and Duterte, the Indian PM is also likely to have bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister and Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev. The India-Asean Summit could see agreements being signed.

"Every single country in the Asean region wants to be more engaged in the region in every possible way. That is the real synergy we have with Asean," Indian Ambassador to the Jaideep Mazumdar said. Prime Minister will participate in the Asean business and investment summit as well as a meeting of leaders of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

First Published: Mon, November 13 2017. 01:05 IST
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