Ten ASEAN leaders were the Guest of Honour for the 69th Republic Day.
New Delhi: At the commencement of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, the Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA ) came up with an official statement on Friday where they said that all ASEAN’s leaders had urged India to play a proactive role in Asia-Pacific region.
After the celebrations of the 69th Republic Day where the ten ASEAN leaders were Guest of Honour, Secretary in charge of Eastern Affairs in the MEA Preeti Saran said, “All the leaders have appreciated India’s role and the bilateral relationship that we enjoy with each one of them and that India has such a positive role in the Indo-Pacific region. They feel that India is a very important component of peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”
The official statement complements Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments that the Indo-Pacific region will be “indispensable” India’s future. In an op-ed article, Mr Modi said, “Indians have always looked East to see the nurturing sunrise and the light of opportunities. Now, as before, the East, or the Indo-Pacific region, will be indispensable to India’s future and our common destiny.”
Expansion of India-ASEAN Ties:
During the summit many collaboration were being made. India announced 1,000 PhD fellowships in the IITs for students from the ASEAN countries. It also announced a dedicated training course in highway engineering, setting up of a virtual network of universities, and pilot projects to set up digital infrastructure at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit. Further, this Year an ASEAN-India startup festival will also be held.
Meanwhile, Ms Saran confirmed that all participating countries agreed to celebrate 2019 as the year of tourism for ASEAN Nations. She also confirmed that India is planning to work closely with Malaysia and Indonesia on handling radicalisation through a conference that will be held soon.
“In specific discussions, that our Prime Minister had with the prime ministers of Malaysia and Indonesia, soft and hard aspects of countering terrorism through strict actions and enabling laws (were discussed),” said Ms Saran.