At Asean-India Summit, PM Modi bats for mutual cooperation to secure ties during Covid-19 pandemic
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attended the 18th Asean-India Summit via video conferencing. Addressing the event, Modi said that the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic posed a lot of challenges for the member nations.
“This challenging time was also a test of India-Asean friendship. Our mutual cooperation in the Covid era will keep strengthening our relations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people,” Modi said.
Modi said history is witness to the fact that India and Asean have had relations for thousands of years.
“Our shared values, traditions, languages, texts, architecture, culture and food are the glimpses of these relations,” the Prime Minister further said, adding this is the reason why the unity and centrality of Asean have always been an important priority for India.
According to an official statement, the Asean-India Summit is being attended by the heads of the state/government of the Asean countries.
“The 18th Asean -India Summit will review the status of Asean-India Strategic Partnership and take stock of progress made in key areas including Covid-19 and Health, Trade and Commerce, Connectivity, and Education and Culture. Important regional and international developments including post-pandemic economic recovery will also be discussed,” the statement added.
The summit is held every year and provides an opportunity for India and Asean to engage at the highest level.
During his address on Thursday, Prime Minister Modi pointed out that the year 2022 will complete three decades of India-Asean partnership and this milestone will be celebrated as the 'Asean-India Friendship Year'.
“India will also complete 75 years of its independence. I am delighted that we will celebrate this important milestone as Asean-India Friendship Year,” he added.
Modi virtually addressed the 16th East Asia Summit a day ago, where he reaffirmed India's focus on a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and the principle of Asean Centrality in the region.
The East Asia Summit, which started in 2005, has played an important part in the strategic and geopolitical evolution of East Asia. Besides the 10 Asean member countries, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.