PM Modi holds talks with Japan, Australia and Vietnam counterparts — ASEAN Summit

LOOK | Opening of 31st ASEAN Summit puts focus on regional, global security – and much more

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Echoing Premier Li, President Duterte urged the APT leaders "to continue nurturing peaceful coexistence, particularly within the APT, where we consider ourselves as one and a family".

U.S. President Donald Trump, who was standing beside President Rodrigo Duterte and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, was briefly confused during the ceremonial handshake onstage. "We seek to enhance our cooperation in non-traditional security issues through the framework of the ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) Plus US Consultations, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) Plus, and the East Asia Summit (EAS), including through training courses and exercises", the statement read.

"India, being a founding member of the East Asia Summit, is committed to strengthening the East Asia Summit and making it more effective for dealing with contemporary challenges", it added.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said ASEAN began in times of a great global divide, but today, it is shining as a beacon of hope.

Over the past two decades, cooperation between ASEAN and the three Northeast Asian countries "continued to flourish steadily among the ASEAN external partners' cooperation", he said.

The RCEP, comprising 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact.

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"We have individually strived very hard to fight terrorism and violent extremism". The leaders also discussed security and counter-terrorism issues.

Favouring deepening of trade ties, 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 further strengthen them".

"At the 15th India-ASEAN Summit, the prime minister and ASEAN Leaders will review the commemorative activities undertaken in 2017 to mark the 25 years of India's dialogue partnership with ASEAN, as well as review the broad spectrum of India-ASEAN cooperation in all its aspects", the ministry said.

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