ASEAN, India back maintaining peace in East Sea

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) appreciated India’s contributions to peace and stability in Southeast Asia at a summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 3.

ASEAN, India back maintaining peace in East Sea

At the 16th ASEAN-India Summit. Photo: Indian Ministry of External Affairs

The 16th ASEAN-India Summit, which saw the attendance of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, touched upon issues such as terrorism and the need to maintain peace, security and stability in the East Sea.

Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, told the press that both sides highlighted the convergences of their respective approaches to the Indo-Pacific.

ASEAN leaders spoke of India as a long-term friend and a dynamic partner, and complimented India’s contributions to regional peace and stability, she said.

ASEAN leaders noted many commonalities they have with the Indo-Pacific region, in particular SAGAR, which is Security and Growth for All, according to the official.

Both sides noted the importance of promoting rule-based order in the region, including the observance of international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They also acknowledged India’s leading role in capacity building, particularly in agriculture. They expressed a keen interest to enhance partnerships in the maritime and cyber domains.

Other issues tabled at the summit included violent extremism and cyber security.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc shared other participants’ view on the developments in the ASEAN-India strategic partnership in the recent past.

He highlighted that as both sides will enter a new phase of cooperation in 2020 with the Plan of Action for 2021-2025, they should further enhance fruitful connections in the areas of common concern and benefits like sea-based economy, development of human resources to meet requirements in the digital economy, and tourism.

The leader also underlined the importance of maintaining security and stability on seas and oceans, including the East Sea – an artery of shipping lanes of the world.

He repeated ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea, stressing the need to step up dialogue, build trust, form and share standards of conduct, seriously and fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and build an efficient and effective COC that is in accordance with international law so as to keep the East Sea as a water body of peace, cooperation and prosperity./.


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