India wants closer ties with a `cohesive' Asean: PM Modi
20 November 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for speeding up all types of connectivity initiatives between India and the Asean - physical, economic, social, digital, financial, maritime – on a priority basis to realise the full potential of a "Cohesive and Responsive Asean".
“We have come very close in all these areas in the last few years. I believe that today's interaction, even if it is happening via virtual medium, will be advantageous in further reducing our differences,” he said.
Modi said there is ample closeness between India's "Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative" and Asean's "Outlook on Indo Pacific," adding that a "Cohesive and Responsive Asean" is essential for "Security and Growth for All in the Region".
He said the India-Asean Strategic Partnership is based on the shared rich historical, geographical and cultural heritage, adding that the Asean Group is the nodal center of India’s Act East Policy since the very beginning.
Modi was all praise for Vietnam, the current chair of Asean, and Thailand, India's current country coordinator in Asean. “Despite the Covid-led painful problems, you have fulfilled your responsibilities well,” he said.
Modi rued the fact that unlike previous years, this time it was a virtual meet and without the traditional holding of each other's hand, but said he was happy for the meeting via virtual medium.