President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is slated to visit India on January 25 to 26 for his first foreign trip of the year to attend the ASEAN – India Commemorative Summit (AICS) and to place high importance on the Philippines-India bilateral relations.
The AICS will help strengthen India’s ‘Act East policy’ for the Indo-Pacific region and will highlight India’s declaration of its Jubilee Year of engaging with ASEAN.
The said Summit will also outline the vision for ASEAN-India engagement for the next few years across sectors – from security to an economic partnership, to India-led connectivity projects to centuries-old cultural links.
It will be recalled that during the 15th ASEAN – India Summit in Manila last year, ASEAN leaders were invited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the culmination of the 25th anniversary celebration of the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit in New Delhi.
“India and the people of India are looking forward to receiving you for this historic occasion. The 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN leaders as our chief guests at India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations,” Modi said.
Indian Prime Minister Modi also expressed his willingness to further intensify security cooperation with the ASEAN members and acknowledged that all countries are doing their best to fight terrorism and violent extremism.
He also expressed his firm support to ASEAN’s goal of achieving regional security and that it is time that India and ASEAN members will jointly address the challenge by intensifying cooperation in this crucial area and finding a joint solution.
“India shows the ASEAN of its steady support towards achieving the rules-based regional security architecture that best attests to the region’s interest and its peaceful development,” Modi said.
Modi also said he wants to further strengthen economic cooperation with ASEAN.
President Duterte, who chaired the 31st ASEAN Summit last year, thanked India for the commemorative activities that India held, which highlighted the historical economic and cultural ties that bind ASEAN and India.
India also hosted the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi last 2012. However, the Philippines was the only country which was not represented at the leader level.
President Duterte meets Japanese Foreign Affairs Special Advisor in courtesy call
Japan’s Special Advisor for Foreign Affairs Katsuyuki Kawai paid a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, January 17, in Malacañang.
An advisor for Foreign Affairs to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kawai is currently in a three ASEAN country tour.
The Japanese official extended his sympathies to the President and to the country for the calamities it had faced before the New Year.
It will be recalled that two typhoons ravaged the Philippines — particularly Davao Oriental, Palawan and parts of Eastern Visayas — as the year 2017 drew to a close.
Likewise, Kawai conveyed the continuing support of Japanese Prime Minister Abe to President Duterte, stressing the importance of further strengthening bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan, as well as the importance of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
For his part, President Duterte reaffirmed the need to strengthen bilateral relations with Japan as well as its strategic partnership.
He also underscored the Philippines’ partnership with Japan against counter terrorism as well as in the country’s development.
Together with the Japanese official were Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda and Third Secretary Akira Kawada.
For the Philippine side, the President was joined by Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.
Prior to his stop in Manila, Kawai visited Singapore and will proceed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after visiting the Philippines. PND