Befuddled by group handshake, Trump strains, grimaces and finally succeeds

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte before the opening ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila Philippines Monday Nov. 13 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held separate talks with his counterparts from Japan Shinzo Abe and Australia Malcolm Turnbull focusing on crafting a new strategy for the Indo-Pacific region in the backdrop of emerging configuration of a key quadrilateral alliance.

He is also expected to meet with the leaders of Vietnam and New Zealand, and the Sultan of Brunei before attending the 12h East Asia summit.

Trade and concern about possible protectionism under Trump's "America First" agenda have come up during his visit to the region, which included stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam before concluding in the Philippines.

A joint statement after the meeting said the two sides "underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential, and agreed to continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programs".

PM Modi is the second Indian Prime Minister to visit Manila since Indira Gandhi.

The relationship between India and the United States goes beyond mutual interest and can be beneficial for Asia and humanity at large, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday to US President Donald Trump, who described him as a "friend" who is "doing a great job". "And the ASEAN conference has been handled beautifully by the president in the Philippines".

Speaking to the media, the Secretary (East) of the Ministry of External Affairs, Preeti Saran, said the invitation to Mr. Duterte was extended by Mr. Modi during the bilateral discussions.

Duterte has been a controversial figure since taking office as president previous year, and launching a war on drugs that has killed at least 3,900 people in the Philippines. But Trump's rapport with Duterte comes during a time when Duterte is being criticized around the world for approving extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs. The leaders also discussed security and counter-terrorism issues.

The government in mostly-Buddhist Myanmar regards the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not recognize the term.



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