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As three-nation trip begins tomorrow, PM Narendra Modi to hold 24 bilateral meetings

New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to embark on his 10-day three-nation tour on Tuesday, he is likely to have at least two dozen “one-on-one meetings” with world leaders in Myanmar and Australia, sources confirmed on Monday. It will be a power-packed schedule as he goes on a diplomatic blitzkrieg and interacts with world leaders on a global stage — his first since he took charge in May this year.

Officials said Modi will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott during his trip to Myanmar, Australia and Fiji between November 11 and 20. He is also likely to have a “pull-aside” with US President Barack Obama, as they will be part of  both the ASEAN and G-20 summits, which are going to take place back-to-back.

 Modi will have his first meeting with Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the East Asia summit at Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar, while the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping will take place during the “informal” meeting of BRICS leaders on the fringes of the G-20 summit in Brisbane. In Australia, as he meets Abbott, the two countries are also expected to sign a clutch of agreements on combating narcotics, social security, culture, transfer of sentenced prisoners and tourism. This will be their second meeting in two months, as Abbott was the first foreign leader to come for a state visit under the new regime.

“During the course of these summits and my bilateral visits, I will meet over 40 leaders from countries representing Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America and Pacific Region, as also heads of many multilateral institutions. These meetings are taking place at a time of multiple global challenges. I look forward to seeking a global environment that supports our aspirations for economic development and a peaceful world,” the PM said in his departure statement on Monday, a day before he leaves for Nay Pyi Taw.

He said the ten-nation ASEAN community has the third largest population, the seventh largest economy, and the third fastest growing economic unit this century. “This dynamic region is our continental and maritime neighbour, linked by centuries-old ties. ASEAN is at the core of our Act East Policy and at the centre of our dream of an Asian century, characterised by cooperation and integration. I am looking forward to discussing with ASEAN leaders how to take our relationship to a new level, which will supplement our deepening bilateral ties with each member,” he said.

“No region in the world embodies so much dynamism or faces so many challenges as the region spanning the Indian Ocean, continental Asia and Pacific Ocean. And, no other forum, perhaps, has as much potential to shape this region and the world’s future as 

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