India committed to peaceful and prosperous Indo Pacific region: PM Narendra Modi

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"Empire and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific", Pence said.

He said Washington had taken action to promote this vision, including steps to spur private investment in infrastructure and a pursuit of trade that is "free, fair, and reciprocal".

The defence sector was another area of cooperation between the two sides.

"There was some good understanding of the areas of how we move forward in building cooperation on counter-terrorism and both countries recognised this is a challenge which we have to fight together and to fight along with the rest of the global community", Gokhale said.

Modi also conveyed great appreciation that President Trump had organised a meeting in the White House on Tuesday to celebrate Diwali, the foreign secretary said.

Pence flagged a tougher approach by the US towards Beijing in October, when he accused China of undermining US President Donald Trump.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed out the "mainstreaming" of figures involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in the recent elections in Pakistan, a clear reference to Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed, during his interaction with USA vice-president Mike Pence in Singapore on Wednesday. They also discussed counter-terrorism cooperation and ways to boost trade, with India indicating interest in expanding the newly initiated imports of oil and gas from the USA, now valued at US$4 billion (S$5.5 billion). "We expressed our readiness to import more oil and gas from United States as a way of expanding our trade", he said. The two also discussed enhancement in defence ties with India having acquired billions of dollars of USA defence platforms, equipment and weaponry in the past decade.

Mr Modi also asked the USA to explore making defence equipment in India not just for its own market but with an eye on regional markets.

Modi said when Indians come to the U.S., they not only bring their talent and capacity to innovate, capacity to excel but also they are imbued with democratic values.

Ahead of his visit, the PM said his participation in the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits symbolised India's "continued commitment" to strengthen its engagement with ASEAN members and with the wider Indo-Pacific region.

Pence felt that India is a positive factor in regional and worldwide relations and said United States looks forward to working with India on various issues both on political and economic sides to ensure that "we have a fair rules-based global order", he said. "We are happy that ties with ASEAN are strong and are contributing to a peaceful and prosperous planet", Modi tweeted.

He added that there had been "tremendous progress" so far in negotiations, namely the North's stoppage of missile tests and the return of United States hostages and the possible remains of troops killed in the Korean War.

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