Government proposes move to secure regional waters
India on Monday proposed an “Indo-Pacific oceans initiative” at the East Asia Summit in Bangkok to ensure security in regional waters and boost the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.Updated: Nov 05, 2019, 08:15 IST
India on Monday proposed an “Indo-Pacific oceans initiative” at the East Asia Summit in Bangkok to ensure security in regional waters and boost the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
Thailand, the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), said it would discuss the initiative proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while Australia too expressed interest, secretary (East) Vijay Thakur Singh of the external affairs ministry said.
The focus areas of the initiative are creating partnerships among states in areas such as maritime security, sustainable use of marine resources, capacity-building, disaster prevention and management, and cooperation in trade and maritime transport, she said. The East Asia Summit includes the 10 Asean member states, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the US.
The Indo-Pacific also figured in Modi’s separate bilateral meetings with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison. Modi and Abe reviewed progress on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project and reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate its smooth implementation.
Abe, who is set to visit India next month for the annual India-Japan Summit, and Modi also welcomed the inaugural 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial dialogue to be held in India later in November. The two premiers reaffirmed their commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific based on a rule-based order. They also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation for the shared objective of peace and progress of the Indo-Pacific.
Modi and Morrison reviewed bilateral relations and noted the converging strategic and economic interests of India and Australia were opening up opportunities for working together bilaterally, regionally and multilaterally. Modi also met his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc and reviewed cooperation in areas such as the expansion of defence and security ties, and forging of closer economic and commercial links.