Singapore, June 2: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US Defence Secretary James Mattis on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue and went on board an Indian Navy ship at a naval base here on Saturday, the concluding day of his three-nation tour of southeast Asia, before departing for India. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that the focus of conversation with Mattis was on the region in the context of Modi’s Thursday keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue. In his speech, Modi said that India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region is that of a free, open and inclusive region that embraces all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity. He also said that India’s global strategic partnership with the US has overcome the hesitations of history and “continues to deepen across the extraordinary breadth of our relationship”.
Modi started his engagements on Saturday with a meeting with Singapore Emeritus Senior Minister and former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. “Starting the day meeting with a veteran leader and an advocate of deeper India-Singapore engagement!,” Kumar said in a separate tweet. Following the meeting, the two leaders unveiled a plaque to pay tribute at the immersion site of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes at Clifford Pier in the city state. The Indian Prime Minister then visited the National Orchid Museum here where an orchid was named after him — Dendrobrium Narendra Modi. Modi also visited the Mariamman Temple, which is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore built in 1827, dedicated to Goddess Mariamman. Following the visit to the temple, Modi, accompanied by Singapore Culture Minister Grace Yien, visited the Chulia mosque which was built by Chulia Muslim merchants from India’s Coromandal coast under the leadership of Anser Sahib. Modi and Yien together also visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. Singapore is home to around 800,000 people of Indian origin. Modi also went on board a visiting Indian naval ship INS Satpura at the Changi Naval Base here. “On board INS Satpura. It is always a pleasure and an honour to interact with our sailors and officers,” he tweeted. (IANS)