Trilateral talks among India, Japan and the US are set to be upgraded to the foreign minister-level as the three countries want greater cooperation in Asia Pacific affairs and the first meeting will be held soon, sources told HT.
The talks are currently at an official level and the foreign ministers will hold their first meeting either by the end of this year or early next year. Upgrading the talks to the ministerial level adds political intent to the meetings.
The three countries are also set to step up the process of interaction with other countries in the region including Australia and South Korea, through “consultations, dialogues and joint exercises.”
This latest development is also being seen in the context of China’s aggressive stance on many regional issues like the South China Sea dispute.
The need to elevate the trilateral has figured in a series of summits of late, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings with Japanese premier Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama during his visits to both countries, sources said.
“They (Obama and Modi) underlined the importance of their trilateral dialogue with Japan and decided to explore holding this dialogue among their foreign ministers,” said the India-US joint statement during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the US.
The three countries are also closely working on linking Asia with South East Asia via Myanmar. This is expected to accelerate infrastructure connectivity and economic development corridors for regional economic integration.