External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday chaired a brain storming session with 15 Indian Heads of Mission in South East and East Asia to chart out the foreign policy initiatives to be undertaken in the strategically important region by the new BJP-led government.
This is the second Heads of Mission meeting that she has called for since assuming office in May. She held a similar session with Heads of Mission from the Middle East in Delhi.
Official sources said the meeting is a way to chart out the future roadmap and to get a frank assessment about the Indian foreign policy in the region and its potential.
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Audience Reaction: Ranbir, Aishwarya, Anushka Starrer Gets A Thumbs Up
- Bigg Boss 10, October 27 Review: Navin, Lokesh Fights During The Immunity Task
- Shivaay Audience Reaction: Ajay Devgn Impresses Viewers
- Pakistan High Commission Staffer Caught With Defence Documents: What It Means For India & Pakistan
- The Royal Opera House Reopens After Decades Of Neglect: Here’s A Quick Tour
- Tata Sons Rubbishes Cyrus Mistry’s Allegations: Here’s What Happened
- Pakistan High Commissioner denies allegations leveled on his staffer for espionage activities
- Odisha: Villagers Refuse To Cremate Dalit Woman’s Body
- Here’s What Farhan Akhtar Said On Karan Johar-MNS ‘Deal’ Over Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s Release
- Government’s Diwali Gift to Central Government Employees, Pensioners
- Bigg Boss 10 26th October Review: This Episode Is All About Fights
- New Zealand Beat India By 19 Runs In Ranchi; Series Levelled At 2-2
- DND Toll-Free: Noida Toll Company Moves Supreme Court Against Allahabad High Court
- British PM Theresa May Says Kashmir Is A Matter For India, Pakistan To Sort Out
- J&K: Students Suffer As Schools Along LOC Forced To Shut Amid Firing
“The meetings will also look at possibility of extending India’s soft power in the region, especially by creating cultural linkages,” a diplomatic source said.
Sources said the BJP-led government is keen to establish friendly and cultural ties with the countries in the region.
Swaraj, who is here on a bilateral visit, has stressed on the need for an ‘Act East Policy’ that she said should replace India’s over two decade-old ‘Look East Policy’. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had said her visit to Vietnam was part of the Act East Policy. “She has said it is not enough to Look East but Act East.
This is Act East in action. We began with the focus on neighbourhood and this has now moved on with focus on ASEAN. Our Prime Minister is going to Japan, so it further moves eastwards,” Akbaruddin had said. India is keen to boost its ties in the region especially with ASEAN.
Stressing on the need for strong connectivity within ASEAN, Swaraj has said that there is a need to look at a more “functional visa regime” in the grouping.
She said the new government in India was a strong believer in a participative approach to bring together the members of the strategic community, the Industry, the experts and professionals and the youth in India and ASEAN countries to further the common agenda of development, progress and prosperity.