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Modi to meet Abe and Trump for first time ever in trilateral meet

PM Narendra Modi. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: The first ever meeting of the heads of government of Japan, the US and India will take place on Friday with a rare interaction between prime minister Shinzo Abe, President Donald Trump and Prime minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina.

Modi will also meet the presidents of China and Russia — Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin — as well in a meeting of the Russia-India-China grouping, people familiar with the matter said late Thursday.

This is will be the first summit of RIC leaders after a gap of 12 years, one of the people cited above said. Usually, RIC meetings have been held at the level of foreign ministers.

Confirmation of Modi’s meetings with the leaders of US and Japan on one hand the presidents of Russia and China on the other comes amidst reports that Trump had cancelled his meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit citing Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels earlier this week — seen as a sign of aggressive Russian behavior towards it neighbour.

“Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting…” Trump said in a Twitter post ahead of his departure for Buenos Aires.

According to the first person cited above, familiar with the developments on the Indian side, “The meetings come at a time of great flux in the world.”

India was the only country common in both groupings was “indicative of India’s growing diplomatic and economic profile in the world,” the person said.

India was being viewed as an engine of global growth, seen as a factor of stability in the region besides recognised as a leader on issues like climate change, the person said.

Earlier on Thursday, Modi arrived in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires for the two day G 20 Summit.

On Thursday, Modi will hold talks with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres.

“ In recent years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a valuable partner,” the second person cited above said.

“The relationship has expanded beyond the Indian community to issues related to the economy, energy and security. All issues of bilateral and regional interest will be discussed,” including oil price volatility would be discussed, the second person said.

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