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Abe to visit India in December following 'two-plus-two' security talks

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit India in December in the wake of the countries’ first “two-plus-two” security talks, his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi said Thursday.

Modi disclosed the planned visit to reporters at the beginning of a meeting with Abe in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.

The leaders discussed security cooperation and efforts to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region in the meeting, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, amid concern over China’s growing military presence in regional waters.

Modi said he was confident that the countries would be ready to sign an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement allowing the two countries to share defense capabilities and supplies including fuel and ammunition by the time Abe visits.

Abe last visited India in September 2017. Modi was in Japan in June for the Group of 20 summit in Osaka and before that for bilateral talks last October.

They agreed in the October meeting to initiate the two-plus-two talks involving their foreign and defense ministers. Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Monday after meeting with Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh that the talks will take place by the end of the year.

After the meeting with Modi, Abe held talks with Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga during which they agreed to continue cooperating on issues related to North Korea, according to the ministry.

Japan, which does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea, often relies on countries that do, such as Mongolia, for opportunities to communicate with Pyongyang.

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