Vietnamese FM Attends Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting
|Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: WVR|
During his speech at the event, FM Son highlighted the long-standing traditional relationship between India and the Southeast Asian region and the strong development of relations, saying that the two sides have recorded important achievements over the past 30 years.
He said that now is the time for ASEAN and India to elevate their strategic relationship and comprehensive cooperation to a higher level, contributing to peace, security, and prosperity in the region and the world.
The Vietnamese official suggested ASEAN and India should join hands and continue to promote the common values shared by the two sides, enhance dialogue, cooperation, and trust-building, harmonize differences, limit disagreements, minimize conflicts, and make positive contributions to peace, and stability, and development in the region.
Son underlined the need for the two sides to strengthen support for each other in improving health capacity, coordinate to effectively implement the ASEAN-India FTA, and expand cooperation on digital transformation, innovation and sub-region development, including the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC).
|Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Photo: WVR|
He appreciated India's support for ASEAN's stance on the Bien Dong Sea, and called on India to back ASEAN's effort to build the East Sea into a sea of peace, stability, cooperation and environmentally friendliness, contributing to peace, security and prosperity in the region and the world as a whole, cited VNA.
During the meeting, Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar affirmed that ASEAN is an important pillar in not only the 'Act East' policy, but also the overall foreign policy and the center of the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) of India.
India supports ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture, he said, noting that his country attaches great importance to its close relationship with ASEAN and wishes to elevate the ASEAN-India relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
ASEAN ministers highlighted the centuries-old traditional connection between India and Southeast Asia, which laid the foundation for ASEAN-India relations to progress over the past three decades.
The ministers agreed to work together to promote ASEAN-India relations to make effective contributions to peace, security and stability in the region.
ASEAN and India agreed to continue to prioritize recovery and improvement of health capacity; ensuring adequate supply of vaccines and medicine; strengthening sustainable maritime cooperation; responding to terrorism, transnational crime and extreme violence; promoting economic and trade exchange in order to achieve the goal of 200 billion USD in bilateral trade turnover; and effectively implementing the ASEAN-India free trade agreement.
The two sides will also strengthen cooperation in tourism, culture and people-to-people exchange; application of science and technology, digital transformation; and expand cooperation in energy transformation, climate change response, green and sustainable development.
ASEAN and India affirmed their continued coordination in maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation in the Bien Dong Sea.
|Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son. Photo: VNA|
Vietnam helps lift ASEAN - India ties to a new height: ambassador
Vietnam has been playing a highly active role in enhancing ASEAN - India relations, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau said.
Highlighting the sound connections between India and 10 ASEAN countries, Chau said ASEAN has dialogue relations with many countries, and India is a very important partner.
According to the diplomat, bilateral ties have been growing in all aspects. First, economic and trade links have been increasing fast, which can be seen in Vietnam’s trade with India surging to almost US$13 billion from about US$200 million in 2000.
he second is on security and politics with both sharing many similar viewpoints on international and regional issues, especially the Bien Dong Sea issue and the Indo-Pacific vision, he said, elaborating that India supports ASEAN’s centrality, and both sides attach great importance to law respect and law adherence, and they also wish to build a region of peace, stability, and development, as well as a free, open, and international law-based Indo-Pacific region.
Third, most of the ASEAN countries and India advocate peace and justice when it comes to international issues. Fourth, they have been cooperating closely in science-technology and education, reported VNA.
The fifth is connectivity cooperation, especially in air and road transport, he noted, expressed his hope for a road from New Delhi through northeastern India, Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos to Hanoi in the future.
Last but not least is people-to-people exchange. The number of ASEAN and Indian visitors to each other’s destinations has been on the rise while Indian people living in Southeast Asia are also increasing, which reflects the close-knit ties between the two sides, he added. Among ASEAN countries, Vietnam boasts a traditional friendship with India. While serving as the coordinator of ASEAN - India relations from 2015 - to 2018, Vietnam held a special ASEAN - India summit and helped lift bilateral relations to a new height.
The two countries share many similar viewpoints on international issues and have shown those viewpoints when both were non-permanent members of the UN Security Council in 2021.
With such stature and an open foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification, and multi-lateralization of foreign relations, Vietnam has been playing a highly active role in helping strengthen ASEAN - India relations, Chau stressed.
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