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“India’s BrahMos Deal With The Philippines Is Firmly Set, On Track; Query Was Clarified, Put To Rest”

NEW DELHI: On ‘Talking Point‘, Ambassador Shambhu S.Kumaran, India’s Envoy to the Philippines, Republic of Palau and Federated States of Micronesia in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.

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In this wide-ranging interview, Ambassador Kumaran discusses External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar’s upcoming bilateral meeting in Delhi with Teodoro L. Locsin Jr, the Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs, India’s landmark $374 million BrahMos supersonic missile deal, the effect of sanctions on Russia and the accidental firing of the missile into Pakistan, mutual security challenges from China, Manila’s interest in Indian aerospace and military platforms, the mutual defence pact and visiting force agreement with the U.S., economic ties as a driver of relations, India’s footprint in the health, fintech, agriculture, IT and BPO sectors, the possibility of a preferential trade agreement, the mutual distrust of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP), the mood in Manila for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership(CPTPP) and bipartisan support for a higher synergy in Philippines-India relations ahead of the May 9 Presidential elections with the two frontrunners being Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the longtime former dictator, and current Vice President Leni Robredo.