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India, Philippines agree to boost defence ties

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Philippines on Monday. A PTI Photo/PIB

MANILA (PTI): India has signed four agreements, including one to step up cooperation in the defence sector, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte here to boost bilateral ties.

Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit the Philippines in 36 years, had a very warm and cordial meeting with president Duterte, Secretary East, Ministry of External Affairs, Preeti Saran said.

She said the two countries signed an agreement to boost bilateral cooperation in defence and logistics on Monday.

The two sides also signed an agreement on enhancing cooperation in agriculture, small and medium enterprises and Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and the Philippines Foreign Service Institute, Saran said.

Duterte expressed interest in acquiring fast offshore patrol vessels and welcomed Indian pharmaceutical companies to invest in his country to make good quality and cheaper drugs.

He also said Indian infrastructure companies could explore opportunities in his country.

Prime Minister Modi expressed interest in expanding cooperation with the Philippines in the renewable energy sector and welcomed the country to join the Solar Alliance.

He also invited Duterte to visit India to take part in the 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN relations which will be celebrated next year.

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