Sun, 22 May 2022

New Delhi [India], April 24 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar held delegation-level talks with Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teddy Locsin Jr. in New Delhi on Sunday.

India welcomed Locsin Jr. as he arrived in New Delhi. "Pleasure to welcome Secretary of Foreign Affairs @teddyboylocsin (Teddy Locsin Jr.) of Philippines as he arrives in Delhi for an official visit. The visit will strengthen our multi-faceted partnershipadvance the shared priorities of our countries in the Indo-Pacific," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.

Earlier, Jaishankar in February concluded his Philippines visit, during which he reviewed bilateral relations as both sides agreed to further expand economic cooperation and reaffirmed their strong commitment to a multifaceted partnership.

Jaishankar was in the Philippines from February 13-15, for his first visit as External Affairs Minister (EAM).

The Minister held a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. The two Ministers reviewed developments in bilateral relations since the meeting of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation that they co-chaired in the virtual format in November 2020.

They also discussed the future trajectory of the wide-ranging engagement between the two countries. The two Ministers also had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The Ministers welcomed recent trends in bilateral ties that have contributed to the deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation and the expansion to newer areas based on shared interests in line with the vision of the leadership of both countries. They agreed to further work towards strengthening engagement in counter-terrorism and defence and maritime security, covering defence capabilities as well as military training and capacity building.

According to the MEA, the Ministers also noted with satisfaction recent initiatives to step up cooperation in emerging areas such as fintech, blue economy, renewable energy, space, cyber security and traditional medicine.

It further said both ministers agreed to coordinate closely at multilateral fora and reaffirmed their strong commitment to a multifaceted partnership that would facilitate the developmental aspirations and shared priorities of the two democracies in the Indo-Pacific region.

During the visit, EAM also interacted with Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of Defence, Carlos Dominguez III, Secretary of Finance and Dr William Dar, Secretary of Agriculture to discuss issues strengthening cooperation in the Defence, Finance and Agriculture sectors respectively.

EAM interacted with a cross-section of the Indian Community in Manila. He appreciated their role in promoting friendship and amity between the people of the two countries and urged them to continue to be a bridge between the people of India and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in India for a two-day official visit on Sunday to strengthen India-EU strategic partnership. This is her first visit to India as the President of the European Commission.

The President of the European Commission has been invited as the Chief Guest for this year's edition of Raisina Dialogue and will address the inaugural session on April 25. (ANI)

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