External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will Saturday represent India at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS), which provides a platform for discussion on important strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific region.
Last year, PM Narendra Modi had represented India at the EAS in Bangkok, Thailand.
The virtual summit meeting will be chaired by the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and see participation from all the 18 EAS countries —10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
The meeting will discuss ways and means to strengthen the EAS platform and to make it more responsive to emerging challenges on its 15th anniversary, an official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.
The leaders will also exchange views on issues of international and regional interest, including the pandemic and cooperation among EAS participating countries to achieve an expeditious and sustainable economic recovery, an MEA statement said.
The East Asia Summit is a premier leaders-led forum for discussions on important strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific, and a leading confidence-building mechanism in the region.
India strongly believes that the ASEAN-led frameworks of which EAS is an important part, are at the core of the regional security architecture and need to be strengthened further. India sees EAS as a logical platform to promote a free, open, inclusive, transparent, rules-based, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, officials said.
At the 14th East Asia Summit in Bangkok on November 4, 2019, PM Narendra Modi had announced India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) aimed at forging partnerships to create a safe, secure, stable, prosperous and sustainable maritime domain.
“India in partnership with Australia and Indonesia organized the 4th EAS Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation on 6-7 February 2020 in Chennai to take forward our commitments in the maritime security domain. India hopes to organise activities in partnership with interested countries under IPOI,” an official said, ahead of the meeting.
India is a founding member of EAS. The 18 members of the EAS together represent 54% of the world population and account for 58% of the global GDP.
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