PM Modi holds bilateral meetings on ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit eve

Erika Holt
January 26, 2018

Addressing fellow Southeast Asian leaders and leaders of India, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called for stronger cooperation among countries to stop the financing of terrorist organizations.

He said a future of hope for India as well as Asean countries needed "the solid bedrock of peace" in an age of change, disruptions and shifts that comes only rarely in history.

PM Phuc stated that the long-standing intercourse in terms of culture and traditions, together with economic and political links in the modern time, have helped to build up sustainable values for the ASEAN-India strategic partnership.

The ASEAN, founded in 1967, comprises Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

Maritime cooperation, with an eye on the security situation in (SCS), and terrorism dominated India's unprecedented outreach, including its decision to invite leaders of all 10 Asean nations for the R-Day parade to celebrate 25 years of India-Asean partnership.

Work is also underway on a trilateral highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand, which, according to the External Affairs Ministry, will be operational by the end of 2019. "The vigour and momentum in India-Philippines ties augur well for our nations and the Indo-Pacific region", Modi said. But relations took off in the 1990s, with then-prime minister P. V. Narasimha Rao's "Look East" policy.

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Najib is one of the 10 ASEAN heads of state and government who have confirmed their attendance at the event to be held in the Indian capital to coincide with the country's 69th Republic Day celebration on Friday.

Modi said he would work towards strengthening relations with ASEAN countries, saying trade had already grown "25 times in 25 years".

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, which has assumed the Asean chair this year, said that India and the regional bloc have to increase trade and economic cooperation.

The two-day India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in New Delhi is expected to give boost to the cooperation in key areas of counter-terrorism, security and connectivity amidst increasing Chinese economic and military assertiveness in the region. According to external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, Modi and Suu Kyi had a productive discussion on intensifying bilateral cooperation, including follow-up on "key decisions" taken during Modi's visit to Myanmar in September previous year.

Both sides also agreed to "strengthen maritime cooperation through existing relevant mechanisms including the Expanded Asean Maritime Forum (EAMF) to address common challenges on maritime issues".

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