One day ahead of his crucial bilateral meeting in less than a year - since their last meeting in Washington- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday evening held separate pull-aside meetings with the US President Donald Trump and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang among others on the sidelines of a gala dinner. Both the leaders met at the gala dinner hosted by the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the mega SMX Convention Center in Pasay City in honour of the leaders and their spouses attending the 31st ASEAN Summit.
The attire for the gala dinner is 'Filipiniana' and will therefore see guests in bespoke Barong Tagalog made by award-winning Filipino designers. The grand show marked the momentous 50th anniversary of the ASEAN.
Modi also had a conversation with Chinese leader Li at the dinner. "PM @narendramodi had a warm and cordial conversation with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Gala Dinner," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
The Prime Minister also exchanged pleasantries with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Modi also held brief interactions with several other leaders who attended the reception hosted by the Philippine President at the mega SMX Convention Centre here. Modi and the Philippines President are also meeting on Monday for bilateral exchanges.
Notably, the courteous interaction between Modi and Trump came shortly after officials from the United States and India and also from Japan and Australia met taking forward the quadrilateral ties in order to ensure peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
"The discussions focussed on cooperation based on their converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with other partners," the ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
On the second day of his visit, Modi on Tuesday will attend the ASEAN-India and East Asia Summits where issues including growing challenge of terrorism and radicalisation and regional trade are likely to dominate.