By Manash Pratim Bhuyan :
BANGKOK, PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Monday reviewed the evolving security scenario in the Indo-Pacific and agreed to further bolster bilateral cooperation in third countries for peace, prosperity and development in the region. The two leaders held a meeting on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit here during which China’s fast expanding military and economic expansionism in the Indo-Pacific region figured prominently among several other key issues, officials said. Without giving specific details of the talks, the External Affairs Ministry said the two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on a rules-based order.
“They agreed to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation, including in third countries, for achieving the shared objective of peace, prosperity and progress of the Indo-Pacific region,” it said in a statement. The resolve by Modi and Abe to work towards a stable Indo-Pacific came in the midst of rising disquiet among several member countries of the 10-nation ASEAN over China’s increasing assertiveness in maritime limits in the region.
The Ministry said the two leaders also deliberated on inaugural ‘two-plus-two’ Indo-Japan foreign and defence ministerial dialogue later this month in India, noting that it will help provide impetus to the security and defence cooperation between the two sides. In a tweet, Modi said it was always wonderful to meet “my friend PM Abe.”
Modi holds talks with PMs of Australia and Vietnam: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held separate bilateral meetings with his Australian and Vietnamese counterparts during which key bilateral and regional issues were discussed, officials said. Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Vietnam’s Premier Nguyen Xuan Phuc and several other world leaders are in Bangkok to attend meetings related to the ASEAN summit, the East Asia summit and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit. Trump invites ASEAN leaders to US meet after skipping summit: President Donald Trump has invited Southeast Asian leaders to a “special summit” in the United States early next year after skipping their annual summit. Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser Trump sent in his stead, included the invitation in a letter from Trump that he read at a US-ASEAN meeting on Monday on the sidelines of the summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations on outskirts of Thailand’s capital.