India underscored its firm commitment to make the Indo-Pacific a region for shared economic growth as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday held their first trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here, amidst China flexing its muscles in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.
Asserting that India will “continue to work together on shared values,” Modi said, “When you look at the acronym of our three countries — Japan, America, and India — it is ‘JAI’, which stands for success in Hindi.” The prime minister said the ‘JAI’ meeting was a convergence of vision between the three nations.
”JAI” is a good message that goes out; it’s a good beginning. And together … we will be playing a very big role .. for world peace, prosperity and stability.”
President Trump spoke first to reporters and said US ties with both India and Japan have never been better. And underlined “lots of trade” and military purchases between them.
Speaking last, Prime Minister Abe had said, as translated from Japanese, the three countries shared “fundamental values and strategic interests”.and stressed the importance of close cooperation between them towards realizing “free and open Indo-Pacific”.
“JAI (Japan, America, India) trilateral marks the coming together of three friendly nations. Today’s historic JAI meeting was a great beginning. PM @AbeShinzo, @POTUS and I held fruitful talks aimed at furthering connectivity, maritime cooperation and a stable Indo-Pacific,” Modi tweeted after the meeting.
The Japanese premier said he was happy to participate in “the first ever ‘JAI’ meeting” and hope that it would reinforce the trilateral partnership and its close cooperation “towards realising a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Appreciating India’s growth story during the meet, Trump said, “The relationships between our three countries is extremely good and extremely strong…with India, maybe stronger than ever…We are doing very well together. We are doing a lot of trade together. We are doing a lot of defence together, a lot of military purchases.”
“India does not see the Indo-Pacific Region as a strategy or as a club of limited members. Nor as a grouping that seeks to dominate. And by no means do we consider it as directed against any country. A geographical definition, as such, cannot be,” he had said.
Modi, Trump and Abe also agreed to cooperate in various ways and together with other countries. They also agreed on the importance of meeting in “Trilateral Format” at multilateral conferences.