PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi will hold nine bilateral meetings with leaders of Southeast Asian countries on the sidelines of the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit with a focus on key areas of counter-terrorism, security and connectivity.
Modi will hold meetings with Vietnam PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday after their arrival here for the summit on January 25. He will hold bilateral talks with leaders of Thailand, Singapore and Brunei on Thursday, ahead of the summit. The PM will hold bilateral meetings with leaders of Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia on Friday.
The highest level of participation at the summit, to mark 25 years of India-ASEAN ties, comes in the backdrop of increasing Chinese economic and military assertiveness in the region. There will be a leaders’ retreat during which leaders will have a “free and frank” discussion on January 25. Theme of the retreat session is “maritime cooperation and security”. Following the retreat, a plenary session will take place the same day.
ASEAN comprises Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.