29 February 2024

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar: ASEAN is an essential part of India's Act East Policy

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar: ASEAN is an essential part of India’s Act East Policy

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasised the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a key pillar of India’s Act East Policy on Thursday.

While speaking during the inaugural session of the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference in Jakarta, EAM emphasised the importance of ASEAN in the growing dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region.

“ASEAN is a important pillar of India’s Act East policy and its vision for the larger Indo-Pacific,” Jaishankar added. A strong and united ASEAN plays an essential role in the rising Indo-Pacific dynamic. India strongly supports ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Indo-Pacific perspective.”

During a meeting with the Indian community, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar drew comparisons between India and Indonesia’s struggle for independence and subsequent growth. He added that both nations battled for freedom at the same time and had enormous compassion and support from their respective communities.

S Jaishankar External Affairs Minister

Furthermore, S Jaishankar recognised the existence of an emotional tie between India and Indonesia.

“When we look at each other, India and Indonesia come to mind.” I believe we have a very natural feeling of attachment to each other. And this emotional connection, I would argue, is a really important resource for this relationship to drop,” Jaishankar remarked.

India’s active participation in this ASEAN-centric regional architecture indicates its strong commitment to keeping ASEAN at the centre of the Indo-Pacific region.

Following his visit to Jakarta, the External Affairs Minister will go to Bangkok, Thailand, on July 16, 2023, to attend the 12th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Mechanism.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

The Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) is an established framework in the lower Mekong area that is led by India’s Act East Policy.

On July 16, 2023, S Jaishankar will attend the MGC’s 12th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok. The goal of this collaborative endeavour is to improve regional collaboration and connection.

Furthermore, on July 17, 2023, in Bangkok, the External Affairs Minister will join the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Foreign Ministers’ Retreat. BIMSTEC is an initiative that promotes economic and technological cooperation among the Bay of Bengal region’s countries.

The retreat will provide a forum for the BIMSTEC agenda to be discussed and strengthened, creating closer collaboration within the organisation.

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