Port Moresby [Papua New Guinea], May 22 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met with the leaders of Pacific Island nations on the sidelines of the third India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit in Papua New Guinea.
He met with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, President Russ Joseph Kun of Nauru, and Prime Minister of Tonga, Siaosi Sovaleni - Huakavameiliku"Had a great meeting with PM of Solomon Islands on the sidelines of FIPIC Summit," tweeted PM Modi.
"Met President Russ Joseph Kun of the Republic of Nauru. We had a wonderful discussion," added PM Modi.
"Great conversation with PM @Huakavameiliku of the Kingdom of Tonga on the sidelines of FIPIC Summit," PM Modi tweeted.
The Third Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit, which was held at Port Moresby on Monday, was jointly hosted with Papua New Guinea.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi co-chaired the Summit with Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea.
India's engagement with the 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs) is part of India's Act East Policy. FIPIC includes 14 island countries - Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
A major part of India's engagement with PICs is through development assistance under South-South Cooperation, mainly in capacity building (training, scholarships, grant-in-aid and loan assistance) and community development projects.
PM Modi also met PM Kausea Natano of Tuvalu at the FIPIC Summit, PM Fiame Naomi Mata'afa of Samoa, PM Mark Brown of Cook Islands, PM Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau of Vanuatu, President Taneti Maamau of Kiribati and Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Henry Puna in Papua New Guinea.
"Happy to have interacted with PM Kausea Natano of Tuvalu at the FIPIC Summit in Papua New Guinea," tweeted PM Modi.
"Fruitful deliberations with PM Fiame Naomi Mata'afa of Samoa on ways to boost bilateral ties," PM Modi tweeted.
"From Japan to Papua New Guinea, the conversations continue...Great to see PM Mark Brown of Cook Islands yet again," tweeted PM Modi.
"Met PM Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau of Vanuatu in Papua New Guinea. India attaches great importance to stronger ties with Vanuatu," added PM Modi.
"Great interacting with President Taneti Maamau of the Republic of Kiribati today. We discussed various subjects aimed at enhancing the relationship between our nations," PM Modi tweeted.
"Good to have met Secretary General of the PIF, Mr Henry Puna today," added PM Modi.
Though these countries are relatively small in land area and distant from India, many have large exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and offer promising possibilities for fruitful cooperation.
India's focus has been mainly on the Indian Ocean where it has sought to play a major role and protect its strategic and commercial interests. The FIPIC initiative marks a serious effort to expand India's engagement in the Pacific region. (ANI)