External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday held talks with ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi as India steps up efforts to strengthen engagements with the countries of the region under its ‘Act East’ policy.
“Taking ASEAN-India relationship in the commemorative year! EAM @SushmaSwaraj met with Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General, ASEAN and Retno Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia. #ActEastPolicy,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Swaraj, who arrived here from Thailand on the second leg of her three-nation tour, also inaugurated the 5th Round Table of ASEAN India Network of Think-Tank. “In the run-up to the ASEAN India Commemorative Summit, an important event in Jakarta today, EAM @SushmaSwaraj inaugurates the 5th Round Table of ASEAN India Network of Think-Tank. In attendance are FM of Indonesia Retno Marsudi, Secretary Gen of ASEAN and DG RIS,” Kumar tweeted.
New Delhi will host a commemorative summit on January 25 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Dialogue Partnership between India and the ASEAN in which all the leaders of the grouping are expected to participate. She also addressed the Indian Community at a reception held in her honour in Jakarta.
On Friday, Swaraj held talks with her Indonesian counterpart Marsudi and the two sides reviewed the whole gamut of bilateral relations. “We are two major countries in the Indo-Pacific region. This region is among the most dynamic regions in the world. We agreed to develop a synergetic relationship to harness the potential of Indo-Pacific region and to meet the challenges that the region faces,” Swaraj had said after co-chairing the fifth meeting of the Joint Commission with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi.
She had said Indonesia, as one of the largest countries, the most diverse democracy, and the biggest economy in ASEAN, has a critical role to play in the evolution of the new security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region. Swaraj left for Singapore on Saturday, where she will inaugurate the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) of ASEAN countries on Sunday.
The ASEAN comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Her three-nation visit is part of New Delhi’s efforts to hold bilateral interactions in various sectors with countries of the South East Asian region within the framework of India’s ‘Act East’ policy.