Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the keynote address at the prestigious annual Shangri-La Dialogue next year, a Singapore think tank which organises the conference has said.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), that runs the conference for the Government of Singapore, in a statement said that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his speech at the closing ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila confirmed that Modi will speak at the dialogue on June 1, 2018.
The IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, first convened in 2002, is an annual meeting for defence ministers, military chiefs and top-ranking defence officials from across the Asia-Pacific and other countries vitally concerned with the region's security.
IISS-Asia executive director Tim Huxley said, "We are very pleased that Prime Minister Modi will speak at the Shangri-La Dialogue next year. The decision of India?s Prime Minister to speak to defence and security leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region underlines the importance of India?s Act East policy. We know Prime Minister Modi's speech will be eagerly anticipated in the region."
Last year, India had pulled out its delegation led by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre from the dialogue after he was given a slot lower than Pakistan's Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat. However, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf attended the event.