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India, Philippines commit to continue cooperation in fighting terrorism


MANILA: India and Philippines have strongly condemned terrorism and committed to continue their cooperation in fighting the global menace as President Ram Nath Kovind and his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte expressed optimism about a stronger future partnership between the two nations.

Kovind arrived in the Philippines on Thursday as part of his five-day state visit to the country.

Kumar added that Kovind and Duterte "reaffirmed warm and friendly bilateral relations, and expressed optimism about a stronger future partnership between India and Philippines". "President Duterte recognises India's growing role in the Indo-Pacific region. Phillipines is a key country in India's 'Act East' Policy in ASEAN and Indo - Pacific," Kumar tweeted.

Earlier in the day, addressing the India-Philippines Business Conclave and the 4th ASEAN-India Business Summit here, President Kovind underlined that ASEAN-India relations are special and the country's "Act East" policy puts the ASEAN region at the centre of its engagement with the Indo-Pacific.

On Friday, India and the Philippines agreed to bolster defence and maritime security partnership and to make it a key pillar of bilateral cooperation, amidst China flexing its military muscles in the region. The two countries also committed to work closely together to defeat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms as Kovind held wide-ranging talks with Duterte at his official residence, the Malacanan Palace.