As Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for enhancing coordination between India and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Outlook, the 10-nation bloc Sunday appreciated New Delhi’s growing role in the Indo-Pacific region, PTI quoted a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official as saying.
PM Modi, who landed in Thailand on Saturday for 16th India-ASEAN Summit, talked about the mutual coordination between India’s vision of the Indo-Pacific and ASEAN Outlook for the strategically key region, which is led by China.
Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said the biggest takeaway from summit was the acknowledgement of the ASEAN leaders about India’s growing role in the Indo-Pacific.
“All the ASEAN countries appreciated India’s growing role (in the Indo-Pacific) region and that India’s growing role is a factor of peace and stability in the region. That is the broad approach of the ASEAN,” PTI quoted Singh as saying
PM Modi also discussed cross-border terrorism, spread of violent extremism and the situation in the South China Sea. “I welcome the mutual coordination of the Indo-Pacific Outlook between India and the ASEAN. India’s Act East Policy is an important part of our Indo-Pacific vision. The ASEAN is and always will be the heart of our Act East Policy. Integrated, organised and economically developing ASEAN is in India’s basic interest,” PTI quoted Modi as saying.
On PM’s reference to the South China Sea, Singh said the issue was noted by both sides and recognised the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region including through upholding adherence to international law.
Singh said the ASEAN leaders spoke of India as a long-term friend and a dynamic partner and complimented India’s contribution in the peace and stability of the region. “They expressed keen interest in enhancing partnership maritime and cyber domains,” said Singh.
The 10-nation ASEAN is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region. India and several other countries including the US, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners.
At the sidelines of the summit, PM Modi also held discussions with the leaders of Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar.