Korean president to attend ASEAN meetings, bilateral summits

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Mr. Trump, who is visiting the region as part of his outreach to Asia, is likely to arrive in Manila on Sunday and hold meetings with regional leaders.

Manila: Prime minister Narendra Modi and U.S. president Donald Trump are likely to have a bilateral meeting on Monday on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit here.

The Vietnamese delegation's participation in ASEAN-31 and related meetings is meant to help enhance ASEAN's solidarity, bring into play the association's central role, strengthen ASEAN's ties with partners, and create a favourable environment for sustainable development in each country and the whole region. The US had said it was looking at a "working-level" quadrilateral meeting in the near term with India, Japan and Australia.

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In a statement today, the foreign ministry said officials of all four countries met "for consultations on the issues of common interest in the Indo-Pacific region".

U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson made several references to the "Indo-Pacific region" in a speech at a think tank in Washington last month.

"We expect the leaders to announce the negotiations but the actual start of the negotiations will probably happen sometime next year", said Bolivar said during a press conference at the International Media Center over the weekend.

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In his meetings with Trump and Abe, Modi could also discuss alternatives to China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative - unveiled by Beijing in May to connect China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia, and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

President Trump shook hands with PM Modi during a brief meeting on the sidelines of a dinner to mark the 50th Anniversary of Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He praised India as a sovereign democracy with a population of over 1 billion as well as the largest democracy in the world. He will arrive on Sunday afternoon at the Ninoy Acquino International Airport in the city and then participate in the Special Gala Celebration in the evening.

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Ahead of the annual summit of the ASEAN, an influential grouping of 10 South East Asian countries, a number of diplomats said the thorny issue of China's aggressive military buildup in the South China Sea may be one of the focus areas of the deliberations on Tuesday.

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