PM Modi arrives in Laos to attend ASEAN, East Asia Summits

Vientiane (Laos): Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here today in the Laotian capital to attend the ASEAN-India and the East Asia Summits to strengthen India's trade and security ties with the strategic Southeast Asian region.

During his two-day visit, Modi is scheduled to have several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Summits, beginning with an interaction with Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe today.

"Greetings Vientiane! PM @narendramodi arrives in Laos for a packed 2 days of diplomacy," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

The host nation, Laos will organise a gala dinner this evening for all heads of state. This will be followed by Modi's bilateral talks with Laotian counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith.

The talks between the two leaders are likely to focus on terrorism, maritime security, disaster management, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

India has been seeking to join the exclusive 21-member APEC.

This is the third time that Modi is attending these two Summits.

"ASEAN is a key partner for our 'Act East' policy, which is vital for the economic development of our Northeastern region," Modi had said in a statement in New Delhi ahead of the Summits.

By Jaishree Balasubramanian